Having and maintaining a garden can be expensive - there are the tools, plants and even slugs to think about, but you don’t have to break the bank to have a blooming garden. Read our top tips to keep a lush garden AND keep the costs down…
Having and maintaining a garden can be expensive – there are the tools, plants and even slugs to think about, but you don’t have to break the bank to have a blooming garden.
From using up your scraps, to revitalising old jumpers and even using loo roll to keep your plants watered while you’re away on holiday!
We’ve got 10 ideas that will help you save time and money in the garden – keep clicking to see them all!
Don't bother forking out for special slug killer or traps to stop them getting at your plants, there are loads of ways to ward off the slimy plant eaters from your garden.
We love these top tips:
1. Beer! No, we're not suggesting you hold a party for them. Simply place a saucer of beer as an obstacle and it will keep them away from your plants.
2. Sprinkle Epson Salts into the soil to help deter slugs
3. Spread salt around your plants as this will dry them out and they should avoid it
4. Vinegar is a good slug spray and good cleaner for removing slime
5. If your slugs are getting into potted plants put petroleum jelly around the base and top of the plan containers. They will just slip and slide away!
Make your own compost from grass cuttings, kitchen scraps and cardboard or straw. It takes six months to mature and regular turning but is worth it so you can make a huge batch and save money. Start a heap in a sunny part of your garden and add the food waste with an equal mix of the wood waste. Mix the ingredients and occasionally turn the heap with a garden fork, making sure the outside ingredients go inside.
Don't spend loads of money on seed trays. Empty egg cartons and fruit punnets make ideal containers to plant seedlings. As egg cartons have separate sections and many are made from recycled paper, you can just transfer them into the ground when the seedlings are ready to be planted.
Plus the cardboard paper will decompose in a few weeks so you won't have to ruin the plant by pulling it out of the tray. Also, don't be afraid to ask at your local greengrocer or supermarket for wooden or plastic crates that are great for storing plants in winter.
Going away for the weekend and worried that your plants will die if they go without water? Well, just put a tightly rolled kitchen paper down into the soil and drape the other end into a glass of water. It will keep them moist for a couple of days.
Share plant and flower cuttings with your friends and take samples from them. Marguerites, fushcias and pelargoniums are a few flowers that grow well from cuttings and lavender, thyme, sage and rosemary are some herbs.
Swapping samples is also a kind of try before you buy method as you can see from your friend's plant what it will look like when you grow it - and it doesn't cost a penny!
Don't spend your money on fancy watering systems! Daniel Lloyd-Morgan, from dlmgardendesign.co.uk, says all you need to do is recycle an old hose pipe to make a DIY irrigation system.
You just need to punch a small hole every 30cm and snake it through you planting bed. Connect the hose to your garden tap and plug the open end. It's the easiest and cheapest way to keep your plants watered!
Reuse old car tyres as planters for potatoes and other vegetables. Ask your local garage if they have any they want to get rid of or check Gumtree and Freecycle for listing. You can stack 3 or 4 on top of each other to create a make-shift compost container too.
Who needs a fancy watering can when you can make one for free? Take one 4 litre empty plastic milk bottle and use a hot needle to make holes in the lid. Fill it with water and then use it as a watering can. This is ideal for small gardens and indoor plants.
Old ice lolly sticks are perfect for labelling plants and make for a great way to get the kids involved in gardening as they'll get to eat the lolly first! They can also practice their spelling and plant knowledge.
Don't sell all your clothes on eBay as you can use an old wooly jumper as lining for your hanging baskets. Just cut it to fit and it will hold the soil well and mould to the sides.
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