Belper Bill Busters: Gardening On A Budget

Glam Up Your Garden On A Budget

21 June – the first day of summer! What better time to get out in the garden, get digging, planting and enjoying the fresh air, if you haven’t been already? The problem is, as hobbies go, gardening can be on the expensive side, especially if you’re starting from scratch. But fear not, green-fingered friends – here are some simple ways to keep your outdoor space spruced up without racking up a hefty bill.

Shop around, save pounds.

Of course, it may seem like the easiest plan of action to head to the nearest garden centre to stock up, but it’s rarely going to be the cheapest option. It’s definitely worth taking a proper look around before you buy – check out budget supermarket chains, charity shops, pound shops and online. Visit mysupermarket.co.uk to find the best value garden accessories, tools, plants, bulbs and more across a variety of high street retailers.

Raid your neighbour’s shed.

With permission, of course! Your neighbours, friends and family might be willing to share tools, or even better, have some they no longer need. Especially for items you’re only going to use once or twice, it definitely pays to ask.

Need for seed.

You can get a packet of seeds for a couple of pounds and you’ll get loads out of it. Its likely you’ll have some left over, so you could save them for next year by putting them in a foil sachet in a dry place, or why not find another green-fingered friend to swap your spare seeds with? Its a sure-fire way to save you both a bit of cash. Salad can be grown all year round indoors and its SO much cheaper and fresher to do this than buy bags of salad.

Herbie Fully Loaded.

Herbs are really easy to grow and don’t take up a huge amount of space either, which is useful for those with smaller gardens. Plus, the seeds are fairly cheap to buy as they’re classed as food and therefore don’t have VAT – nice.

Your own way’s the best way.

With a bag of compost coming in at an average of £5 a bag, simply keeping your garden healthy can prove costly, so is there any way to do it cheaply? There is!

To make your own compost, combine greens – like dead plants, peelings, tea bags and filter paper, and ‘browns’ like cardboard, wood and leaves, in a large container and leave them to rot, while adding to them regularly. You’ll find some more great advice on starting a compost heap by visiting edenproject.com and searching ‘Compost.’

As for weed killer, mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:8, then combine it with another mixture of sugar and water in a ratio of 1:8, and it’s ready to go!

Get growing.

If you’ve got space, growing your own fruit and veg is a great way to boost your garden and save money. Things like potatoes and carrots are relatively cheap to buy in the supermarket, so it might be worth going for stuff that’s more expensive, like raspberries – they’ll pop up in abundance every year and save you a pretty penny on a tasty treat. It’s definitely worth checking out if you can get your own allotment from the council if you have the time to give it – it’s often a great community where you can share ideas and produce.

Blooming lovely.

Plan ahead for next year by buying your bulbs in the autumn when prices are lower. Plant snowdrops, narcissus, daffodils, muscari and tulips in October and they’ll bloom (in that order) over the spring.

If you’re struggling with debt, don’t panic – give CAP a call on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org. Last year we helped over 20,000 people with their debts.

By Adriaan Van Wyk

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