Any one that spends time out side in the back yard, its really important that you create a environment that is relaxing and enjoying. But it can cost a lot of money, if your trying gardening on a budget, and that budget is tight, the following is 10 tips on how to get a great garden that won’t cost the earth.
- Collect seeds– nearly every plant that we grow produces fertile seeds, so if you want trees, shrubs or flowers collect the seeds. After the plant flowers, seeds will form where the flowers were. It will take time for the seeds to ripen so be patient. When ripe the seed pods may change colour and split open. Collect and store them until it is time to sow them next spring. (make sure you label the seeds).
- Grow plants from seeds– whether you are growing plants from the seeds you collected or from bought packets of seeds, which normally only cost about $3, as long as you are planting them at the right time they will germinate quickly. You can sow seeds directly to where you want them planted or raise them in some seed raising mix and then transplant them out when they become seedlings.
We covered growing mint seeds in your garden ( CLICK HERE). The more things like mint that you can grow the easier it is gardening on a budget.
- Dig up and divide– this is good for shrubs that form a spreading clump as the clumps have their own roots and can be replanted, or plants with lots of stems can be cut or pulled apart. Ask your friends if they would give you some of theirs the next time they dig & divide. The best time to do this is in winter or earliest spring.
- Cuttings- using a sharp pair of secateurs you can remove the top 10cm from a stem which does not have any buds or flowers. Insert into a seed raising mix, keep it moist and in about a month you should notice new growth on top. I suggest when you’re visiting friends have a pick through their garden.
- Make your own mulch- rake up fallen leaves and mower cuttings, you can put them directly onto your gardens or put the leaves through a mulcher for finer mulch. To make leaf mould put raked leaves into a plastic bag wet the leaves seal the bag and leave it until next spring. This will turn into leafy compost that you can spread straight onto your garden.
- Cheap & freebies- This is one of the best tips for gardening on a budget. Some councils will give at least one free plant to rate payers, contact your council to see if they do this. Cheap plants can normally be found at school fetes, markets, garage sales, check your local Tafe to see if they have a horticultural department that has cheap plants.
- Make compost- don’t throw any of your kitchen scraps in the rubbish bin, start your own compost. Compost is great for the garden and you can even use tea leaves in the compost, newspapers, grease paper, cardboard, leaves, hair from you brush has nitrogen and is great for the compost, anything that breaks down (don’t put meat in the compost).
Use 2 bins, cut a hole in the bottom of the bins and place the material for composting inside the first bin until its full put the lid on, make sure you add water to help with the composting process. When the first bin is full start adding to the second bin, it will take a few months to break down but it will be worth it to have beautiful composted soil for your garden.
- Garden art- old logs, driftwood and boulders can look great in a garden; their natural texture will look good amongst the greenery, maybe animal skulls if you like that type of thing. Old wheelbarrows, old watering cans anything that you think will look great in your garden.
- Good & Bad bugs- Grow native trees and shrubs in your garden they will attract the good bugs and help keep the bad bugs to a minimum. If you have bad bugs, soapy water (detergent, soap flakes, etc) in a spray bottle sprayed directly onto the bugs will work well, spray about twice a week. Snails and slugs are attracted to beer, so sink a container into the ground so it’s at ground level and put beer in the bottom the snails and slugs will be attracted to it and fall in and drown.
- Gardening tools and odds and ends– instead of paying a big price at the hardware store or nursery check out garage sales for gardening tools, gardening ornaments and pots, but go early to get the best bargains.
Take the time outside, and create a garden that is cheap but really enjoyable. You can spend hours out there and its not just about BBQing. Gardening on a budget can be fun and really enjoyable.
Gardening on a Budget doesn’t mean your back yard needs to look like a dump either it can be really neat and tidy, and give you hours of pleasure.