Money Saving Tips for the Garden

A survey conducted in 2014 revealed Brits on average spend £30,000 on gardening during their lifetimes. And whilst we can understand the importance of turning our gardens into a wall of colour we also know there are ways to achieve this for a fraction of the cost.

This is why, below, we’ve compiled a list of 22 easy ways to save money in your garden.

Shop Around ¬– Cut the £9,500 average amount spent on plants, but still see your garden bloom.
General Gardening – Grow your own fruit and veg and reduce your shopping bills.
Recycle – Put the 85,000 litres of rainwater which falls to good use with a water butt.

Shop Around:

• According to the survey, during our lifetimes we spend on average £9,500 on plants. Cut this cost without hindering the overall look in your garden, by swapping samples with friends and family. This is a great way to get new flowers into your garden, there’s also great websites such as gardenswapshop where you can find great plants and seeds available to swap.

If swapping cuttings of established plants, to help the cuttings take root it is recommended to dip them in hormone growth powder.

• A little known fact is that gardening centres often have an equivalent to a “reduced section” where it is possible to find and purchase reduced plants which have seen better days. With a bit of green-fingered TLC, such plants can be purchased and nurtured back to life.
Garden Tools
• Over our lifetimes we spend an average of just under £3,500 on essential garden tools and a further £1,300 on garden electrics. But purchasing such appliances and tools needn’t be costly. Car boot sales and websites such as eBay are great places to pick up cheap, yet quality gardening essentials – after all, someone’s rubbish is another person’s treasure! [source: Daily Mail]
• Bigger isn’t always better, but is often more expensive. When it comes to purchasing plants although the bigger ones may look better, smaller plants are often cheaper and can be nurtured over time.

General Gardening:

• Cut the cost of your shopping bill by growing your own fruit and veg. No matter the size of your garden, you’ll be able to grow a number of foods – and some of the easiest produce to grow includes potatoes, runner beans and herbs.
Annuals, perennials or biennials? Each have their own benefits, for example an annual tends to bloom all season long and are often brighter. Perennials on the other hand live for a number of growing seasons, and are often a cheaper alternative to keeping your garden well planted each year.

• Weeds, whether popping up in your flowerbeds, pathways or patios can be unsightly. Getting rid of them can also be hard work or expensive, but it needn’t be if you turn to products you’re likely to find in your home.

Vinegar, added to a pump-triggered bottle with a teaspoon of dish water can make an effective yet cheap weed killer; and it’s best to use such a solution on a nice, clear, dry day.

• From your science lessons you’ll remember plants need as much sunlight as possible to grow. For those plants which are struggling to receive the sunlight required, you can give them a helping hand by placing an aluminium-foil backed board behind them, angled towards the sun. The sun will reflect off the foil and benefit the plants.
• Tidy the garden, before doing anything else. Mowing your lawn, cleaning the patio, weeding and painting the fences will automatically add a new look to your garden giving it a new lease of life. It’ll also help you see where needs the most work, meaning you’re only spending money where it is needed.
DIY Tools
• Gardening isn’t just a job for when the sun is out and the ground is dry. If you really want to make the most out of your garden, helping it to thrive and bloom, there are essential tasks which you need to carry out each month. For a comprehensive list of monthly tasks, visit the RHS website.

• Introducing wildlife into your garden is a great way to help it thrive and keep unwanted pests at bay. Two great ways to help introduce wildlife into your garden are:

1) Add a bird feeder and keep this topped up year round to encourage birds to regularly visit your garden. During the summer it should be kept full with light nut / berry mixes, whilst during the winter heavy suet balls should be placed within the feeders.

2) Introduce plants which are high in pollen and nectar, as these will encourage bees, butterflies and other insects which perform a vital task of fertilisation – helping your garden bloom. [source: RHS]

• Repair rather than replace your faulty garden appliances. It’s all too easy for your lawnmower blade to become blunt or chipped or for your trimmer line to snap – but this doesn’t mean the end of the road for the appliance. By repairing the appliance yourself, you can bring it back to life with little outlay being incurred.
• Plan your garden ahead of each season. The earlier you’re able to plan your garden the more you could save, as a well thought out plan will prevent you from purchasing plants which either aren’t suitable for your garden or won’t be planted as the right time of year to plant them has passed.Planning your garden ahead will also help you achieve a wall of colour year-round in your garden, as each plant, shrub and flower will have been planted at the right time to achieve a full bloom.
• When it comes to providing our climbing plants with a helping hand, many of us opt to purchase supporting canes; but you could save money by turning to nature and using branches you find whilst walking in the countryside.
• The aroma of fresh filtered coffee is said to be beneficial when it comes to selling your home. But did you know your coffee grounds can also benefit your garden? Pouring coffee grounds over your flowerbeds can help keep unwanted pests away. Adding coffee grounds to your compost can also benefit your soil, so next time you brew up don’t forget your garden too.

Recycle:

• Roughly 85,000 litres of rain water falls on the average UK roof each year. This water can be put to good use, if collected and stored in a water butt, ready to be used during the drier months of the year.
• A survey from 2011 revealed one in four councils were charging for green waste collection, and it is widely expected this figure will have increased over the last four years. But why pay for waste to be collected when you can add it to your own compost heap and improve your garden. [source: Daily Mail]Remember when adding to your compost bin not to add cooked food though, as this will encourage pests.
• Looking for a cheaper alternative to plant pots? Recycle your yoghurt pots and egg boxes, as these are perfect for starting your seedlings in, before planting them out in the garden.
• The lawn is often the focal point of any garden, help yours remain green by regularly watering particularly during dry spells. Watering your lawn needn’t require an expensive sprinkler, especially when you can make your own using household products.
Garden Watering Accessories
• Reuse your old plastic milk bottles in your garden as makeshift watering cans. Pierce pinholes into the lid of the milk bottle which will allow the water to neatly cascade out as you water your plants.
• Raised flowerbeds can look great in your garden, adding new dimensions. But they can be expensive if opting to use old sleepers. But there are cheaper alternatives available, such as dismantling pallets and using them to build raised flowerbed – and Gumtree is often a great place to find such pallets.
• Make your own cloches (mini-greenhouses) to help your seeds grow in the garden. Simply cutting the tops of plastic bottles off and place the bottom of the bottles over your seedlings will provide them with their own mini-greenhouse, helping to protect them as they grow. [source: Foresters Friendly Society]

Do you have any other tips for saving money in the garden, without hindering the overall look? Share them in the comment box below and help your fellow green-fingered BuySpares blog readers.

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