Why spend a lot of money, when many gardening activities and projects can be done without effort and high costs by simple means? These tips for small budgets make gardening more affordable.
Every gardener knows that a garden is not only a hassle, but sometimes costs quite a bit of money. However, there are many aspects in which you can easily save money, if you consider a few points. Here are tips that will help you garden on the cheap and on a budget.
Cheap gardening: practical tips
Encourage beneficial insects
Pests have natural enemies. Refrain from using expensive, often even ineffective pesticides. Insect hotels, nesting boxes, water bowls, nectar-rich flowers, gentle plant care and sufficient retreats attract many beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, hedgehogs or even earwigs and songbirds. This ensures a natural balance in the garden and healthy plants.
Propagate plants by yourself
You can easily obtain cuttings of perennials and grasses by splitting them. Not only is this a very inexpensive way to get new plants, the rejuvenation process with a spade is also really good for long-lived flowering perennials. Especially if they have become a little lazy over the years or have become bare from the inside. Smaller plants can be carefully pulled apart by hand after digging. The strongest sections are replanted fresh and watered. You can sow many summer flowers such as zinnias, marigolds, mallows, damsels in the green or sunflowers from your own seeds. To do this, collect ripe flower seeds in late summer and store the seeds until spring in a dark and dry place, for example in sandwich bags.
Gather free rainwater before it seeps into the garden or down the drain. With a sturdy cover, barrels and drums are childproof and won’t become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. For the potted garden, an automatic watering system is worthwhile in the long run, which waters the balcony and potted plants quite sparingly and specifically near the roots.
Enjoy harvest from own cultivation
Delicious snack vegetables such as mini peppers, small snack cucumbers, cocktail tomatoes and sweet strawberries are relatively expensive in stores and at the weekly market. So it makes sense to grow especially the most popular varieties yourself from young plants. Lack of space is not an excuse: tomatoes and cucumbers grow excellently in pots in rain-protected locations around the house and even on the balcony.
Grow plants from seed yourself
If you have plants in the garden, you can, of course, collect the seeds in the fall. Also in nature you can find some things that you would like to have in the garden or pot. So you know what to expect, at least for the common varieties. This method is, of course, cheaper than buying, but may not always lead to the desired success, because especially with exotic varieties, the second sowing may differ from the original.
Recycle old and used instead of disposing of it
If you want to garden cheaply and look carefully, you can find many recyclable materials in the home and garden that, with a little creativity, can quickly blossom into new functions. Pots for sowing, for young plants and offshoots are quickly made from newspaper and old magazines. Long branches are suitable for bordering beds and climbing plants to support climbing vegetables. If you like it more individual, you can enhance the sticks with colorful stripes of acrylic varnish.
Fertilize with kitchen waste
Many kitchen scraps make great organic fertilizers. Banana peels as fertilizer, for example, are a wonderful source of potassium for flowering perennials and roses. Coffee grounds as fertilizer, on the other hand, contain a lot of nitrogen. The dried grounds have a soil acidifying effect and are best suited for all plants that prefer an acidic humus soil. Tea grounds – especially from green and black tea – have also proven their worth as fertilizer, as the ingredients are similar to those of coffee grounds.
Avoid bad purchases
Due to varying demands on light and soil, plants do not thrive in every location. Professional advice pays off, also with regard to growth behavior, frost hardiness of the plants and snail feeding. Ask how many plants per square meter make sense. You will usually get a discount for larger numbers. If the planting does not have to serve as a quick privacy screen, a cheaper, younger selection will also do. Bare-root plants, such as roses, also cost less than potted ones.