My money saving tips for gardeners on a tight budget.

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This is for the amateur gardener who wants to save money, eat fresh fruit and vegetables, sow seeds, transplant plants, make organic compost, reap the harvest and just enjoy the garden.

It really is possible to live the dream, without spending wheelbarrow loads of money or having lots of experience and knowledge.

 

This article will help to get you growing stuff quickly, simply and cheaply.

To keep this short the links, to my other articles will provide the detail, if you need it, about growing flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs that are cheap and easy to grow and other tips like making compost, sowing seeds and selecting plants that will grow in your type of soil.  

How to find cheap or free gardening tools.

Second hand gardening tools, planters, material to make....  

 

.....raised beds etc can all be found cheaply at car boots or in the classified adds section of the local paper.

 

So my advice would be to, never buy new, you really won't need to. Charity shops are great for finding gardening clothing too. 

Probably your best bet to save money will be the Freecycle website. This is where people in your area advertise unwanted tools, even topsoil, in fact everything you will need to start gardening and its all free to collect. You may have to wait a bit for the particular piece of equipment you want, but It will turn up.


8 things that will keep costs down and make gardening cheaper

To keep this section short and readable I have linked to more detailed articles on my website

1 Saving money on raised beds, containers and flowerpotsRaised beds can be formed from old tyres or Breeze blocks, etc. free from freecycle, and almost anything that will hold soil safely. Hay and straw bales make great raised beds, not just to hold soil but to grow plants directly in the bales, more about growing in hay bales.   Growing potatoes? Try an old plastic bucket.

2 Cheap compost and liquid fertiliser. The cheapest and by far the best is the organic compost you can make yourself using kitchen and garden waste, saves sending it to landfill too. I have written a simple guide to making compost  and making a wormery to make free liquid compost. 


3 Grow from seed. The cheapest way, once again is to grow your own from seed, It is easy and very satisfying. You can also make money from selling the surplus plants. I have included a guide to sowing seeds here.

Buying cheap healthy plants that have been reduced in price also saves money, it is very important whilst buying plants cheaply you don't end up with weak or diseased plants. If a plant looks weak, maybe drooping or with yellow or spotted leaves leave it on the shelf. A general rule is if the plant looks straggly and weak it probably is so put it back, even if its reduced in price.

 

4 Only introduce strong healthy plants into your garden, it is cheaper in the end. If you are planning to grow organically and sourcing your plants from a garden center, be aware that the plants will almost certainly have been grown using chemical fertilisers and pesticides and will bring some of these chemicals into your garden. The best way to find cheap healthy or even free plants is to look around your local car boot, roadside stalls even better neighbours who might even start you off with plants for free.  

 

Most small growers and sellers are proud of the plants they sell and willing to give advice, the other bonus will be, if you buy your plants locally, you can be fairly sure they will grow in your type of soil.

 

5 Plant stuff that is easy to grow. The more successful your plants are the less money you will spend on replacements and the less fruit and vegetables you will need to buy from the supermarket.  Too many "easy to grow plants" to list here, so I have listed vegetables beginners will find easy to grow on my growing your own page.  

Most herbs are very easy to grow and great for a kitchen garden. Plant them near the house and next to paths to enjoy the scent they give off, when damp or brushed against. If you like the smell of curry, the Curry plant is easy to grow, A few herb garden tips here. 

 

6 Weeds and other garden pests. Keeping weeds down is important, weeds gobble up the same minerals and nutrients your plants need to thrive. If the weeds are getting all the food, the plants will be hungry and you will need to spend money on plant food. So keep weeds controlled during the growing season. Use a long handled hoe for weeding large beds, or weed small narrow raised beds with a small trowel. Both can easily be purchased cheap, at car-boot sales.

 

7 Keeping pests like slugs and snails controlled is equally important or you could end up without any produce (easy to grow or not) This article on my site will help. If you are not an organic gardener these tips will also help control garden pests   If you prefer a more natural method see the next section. 

 

8 Natural pest control  A great organic, cheap and natural way to ward off garden pests, is companion planting, It is a bit hit and miss until you get the hang off it, but worth a try. More information on my companion planting page.

 
Hope this gardening on a shoestring article and the links to other articles helps save you money, and most of all, enjoy gardening.