Spring, the season of new growth, quickly becomes the season of more spending – especially for avid gardeners. Luckily, you don’t have to spend thousands for the perfect spring garden, especially if you’re a newbie gardener on a budget. There are many ways to start one that won’t break the bank. Try these tips for stunning spring blooms, without the extra cost.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Restraint is difficult for all gardeners at the best of times. But it’s essential, especially when you’re on a budget. A good plan – and a modest plan – will ensure you stick within your budget while achieving your dream garden goals.
A good garden plan helps you visualise what your garden will look like and betters your understanding of what your space has to offer, especially in terms of light, soil, and water. Knowing this stops you from excitedly splurging on tons of plants that won’t thrive in your garden anyway.
Once you’ve got your plan, it’s time to pick some plants. A useful mantra for newbies and novices alike is ‘start small’. Pick a handful of plants with similar needs that suit your garden and see how they do. Gardening doesn’t have to be about instant results; it’s more about the journey to achieving those results.
The best way to save money is by planting seeds. Even though it takes a little longer, requiring a little more patience and some extra skill, you’ll save plenty of money and have healthier, happier plants.
Planting from seeds gives you full control over growing conditions and the surrounding environment from the very beginning. This allows your plant to establish itself well in your garden from the get-go, saving you money and time on plant care.
Many will consider the waiting a negative trade-off. But watching your tiny seeds grow into fully-fledged flowering plants is so rewarding.
You don’t even have to spend a single cent if you’re considering planting seeds. Gather your own from the existing plants in your garden or get some from friends and neighbours. As your garden grows, it’ll be even easier to build your collection without spending any extra cash.
Propagating is the most essential skill of budget gardening. Start with one plant, and end up with more than you could imagine. You simply need one cutting from a friend or kind neighbour to get started.
There are several ways to propagate different types of plants. Some plants grow shoots or plantlets that can easily be snipped off and re-potted. Others grow just as easily from leaf cuttings. Plants with nodes can be propagated by stem cutting, while those in clusters can easily be divided by separating the plant at root level.
Recycle & DIY
Ditch the expensive terracotta pots, and the cheap plastic ones, by making your own. Anything can be a container, from old boots to teapots and even old furniture. Drill some holes at the base and you’ll instantly have a quirky, unique plant container, for free.
Always ensure your chosen container is big enough for your plant. Before you start, clean whichever container you do use thoroughly with some soap and warm water to get rid of any harmful bacteria.
Another recycling favourite for gardeners is composting. Composting is a great gardening practice that everyone can (and should) do no matter where you live or how much space you have. It’s great for the environment and it saves you money on store-bought composts.
So many things can go in a compost heap, from garden waste to veggie and fruit scraps. Avoid tossing weeds and diseased plants in your heap, along with dairy and meat. It does take some time before its contents can be used as compost, but the wait is worth it, especially for gardeners on a budget.