Why frugal gardening? Gardening is a hobby enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. Sometimes it is just for fun and relaxation, other times it is to provide food for the table.
What ever is your reason for wanting to enjoy your garden, you will no doubt realise that it can be an expensive pastime, especially if you end up being tempted by all that the local gardening stores have to offer you.
How ever did we manage before without those matching Wellingtons and garden gloves?
So here I hope to give you some ideas on how to create your perfect little oasis, with some frugal gardening tips, which will save on cash and which will be kind to the planet as well. They are all things I have done myself in my own garden at one time or another to save money but still have a great garden space.
I get a real buzz out of finding my own alternative tools and garden paraphernalia, especially when I see just how much they want to charge me for them at the local stores. Also I am very passionate about looking after our planet and the less I contribute to the worlds waste the better.
I've discovered that frugal gardening is a great way to get the whole family involved, especially the children. It's fantastic to see the fascination on their faces when they discover where vegetables come from and they really love getting their hands dirty.
We've had many fun days out in the garden discovering new ways we can reuse household items to help us grow our plants, I don't think there isn't one empty can or bottle I haven't used at one time or another in the garden.
Frugal gardening can apply to all gardens, whether it's for pleasure or for food, but the big savings are made when your garden is also saving you money on your weekly food shop.
When you consider that a garden can grow most types of fruit, vegetables and herbs, all of which can be quite costly in the shops and provide your table with produce all year round (especially if you freeze some of your summer fruits etc.), then I often wonder why more people aren't' exploiting this little gold mine.
Of course if you love to fill your home with flowers then there's absolutely
no cheaper way than to grow
your own, plus you have the added satisfaction that they are all
your own work (and mother nature's). Even if you only have a small garden
it is still possible to grow small varieties of flowers and once you
have your first plants then you may never need to buy any again if you
learn to propagate from them.
1. Always compost- to keep your soil in tiptop condition you will need to add composting material. Available at silly money at the shops, free in your own garden. Simply store all your garden leaves, cuttings and food peelings in an area of your garden and overtime it will rot down into rich nutritious compost for your garden.
2. Recycle water - the worlds water resources are under threat and so the cost of our water supplies have significantly increased over the years. This may get worse, so by saving and reusing as much water in our gardens will over time add up to some quite big savings.
3. Encourage wildlife for a healthy garden - many wild animals will feed on plant destroying insects and so save you money, as you will not have to pay out for nasty pesticides. For instance Hedgehogs love to eat slugs, one of the gardeners most ravenous foes.
4. Use natural fertilizers etc. - be frugal and the planet by not investing your money in toxic chemical fertilizers. Instead keep your garden organic by using animal manure to fertilize your garden.
Visit local farms to see if they will let you have their animal waste. You could even ask for the elephant droppings when the circus comes to town (many zoos actually sell their elephant dung these days, so it must be good)
5. Swap and share tools and plants with neighbours and friends - This is an easy and very cost effective way to keep your costs down.
Everyone owns at least one garden tool and I find that most of the time they are not in use. This is a great way to get to know your neighbours and to build friendships.
With these principles under your belt, your gardening costs will be
minimal and you will be encouraging a greener, healthier environment.
Lawns can be costly to maintain, especially during a hot spell when
watering becomes a daily requirement. Instead reduce the size of your lawn and either replace it with paved or gravel areas, which can then be used for your container plants or create permanent beds.
These additions to the garden will not only be less costly to maintain but will help to show off any lawn you do have, by adding shape colour and textures.
We will cover various aspects of gardening from landscaping, container gardens, indoor gardens and garden tools, all with the premise of keeping the costs as low as possible but with maximum efficiency and productivity and hopefully fun too.