I love designing large highly detailed gardens however the cost can be prohibitive to most, on top of this a larger “designer garden” can take you away from the enjoyment found in the simple act of gardening. So I have put together my top ten budget friendly gardening jobs that will helpo you get closer to the designer look whilst maintaining that dirt under the fingernails feel.
Start with a master plan:
The beginnings of any garden no matter how big or small are so important and staging the installation is a great way to spread the cost out. Having a master landscape plan to refer back to will ensure you don’t do things twice and you’re heading in the right direction to a cohesive and well thought-out garden.
Make your own compost:
Compost is the best additive to give you healthy soil and plants with healthy soil outperform their poor soil counterparts exponentially. Making your own compost not only makes you garden look more vibrant and lush but it helps to cut down on kitchen and garden waste too.
Grow from seed:
Growing plants from seed costs a tenth of the price of buying advanced ones and the only difference is time.
Grow your own herbs and vegetables:
Growing your own herbs and vegetables (especially from seed) is a great way to save on household expenses, and it’s a nice way to monitor exactly what you consume and gives you the opportunity to increase your organic produce intake too – so its win win all round.
Maintain your hard surfaces at least once every six months:
Things like paving, decking, feature walls and pool surrounds will last much longer if they have regular maintenance through cleaning and one of the best products is highly diluted chlorine. Soak your garden beds before and after cleaning to further dilute the chlorine so it doesn’t damage and kill your plants.
Adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds to a thickness of 50-75mm will not only help to maintain soil moisture but it will give your beds a more finished and ‘designed’ look and it costs a fraction of the cost of plants.
Grow from cuttings:
Growing from cuttings is the cheapest way to expand your gardens plant base – just make sure you ask the owner before taking a cutting. Some of the easiest plants to propagate are Rosemary, Frangipanis and Hydrangeas
Second hand furniture:
A lot of people are selling their second hand furniture on the internet and with a lick of paint or a new set of cushions you can have the piece of furniture you’ve always dreamed of.
Make your own potting mix:
Good quality potting mix is expensive and making your own is so simple so why not give it a go. Use the ratio of 50% coir (available from any good hardware store or nursery) 25% home made compost and the rest made up of cow and chicken manure, slow release fertiliser and a wetting agent – it’s the best you can get and very cheap to make.
Buy small and let it grow:
If your planting a large area buy your plants small and watch them grow. Work out what is slow growing and buy that as big as you can afford. Your plants will actually settle in quicker and grow faster once established if planted smaller that is in comparison to advanced plants that take longer to establish.