In this article, I am going to give you 10 money and time-saving tips for the container gardener. We are now all starting to learn to live within our means and this is equally applicable in the garden. We all need to find ways of reducing our expenditure but at the same time maintain a well-kept container garden. This is why this article is being written to impart my knowledge in order to save a bob or two.
Anyway, any money saved can be invested in a family holiday, paying the mortgage, keeping your opposite half happy, or if you are so inclined to spend the money saved on buying new plants, as you can never have too many plants in the garden.
I am a Yorkshireman (I am not that tight) born and bred and so understand the importance of money, but as a gardener, I understand the importance of beauty.
Now enough of my ramblings, here are my ten tips:
But next year’s seeds in September or October when they go on sale. You may ask why? But if you apply a bit of foresight, this will save you a bundle of money. At the end of the gardening season garden centres and other shops want to get rid of old stock to make way for Halloween and Christmas ( I know I have mentioned Christmas already), or other displays that autumn may bring in shops, such as Wilko, B &M, the Range.
In order to use this strategy, you will need to plan next year’s growing schedule well before, so that you know what seeds you need to buy. You will need to be a bit adaptive as the varieties you want may not be available but you can find alternatives. You can find a lot of packets at half price or more, even 10 or 20p, so go for it. Kerching 1.
Keeping tip one in mind, the planning of next year’s container garden display now will be very fruitful, especially to your wallet. In this way, you will only buy the seeds of flowers, vegetables, fruits that you need and will plant. It is so tempting to buy seeds that you like the look of in the garden centres and then find you have no room to plant it.
This clearly wastes money. This also goes for any perennial or annual plants that you wish to buy. In this way you will curtain your spending and not buy the plant that you do not need or have room to plant, it is advised to have a list when you visit a garden centre or other shops and stick to it. It is so easy to get bamboozled by the beautiful plants and want to buy them. Kerching 2.
Keeping the theme of tip 1, you cannot only save money on seeds but you can find many gardening products on sale in September and October. In preparation for Christmas, shops need to make room for this season’s stock, so a lot of items will be reduced in price.
You can get a lot of knick-knacks from tools, pots, trays, propagators, wires, labels, fertilizers (if you can find them on sale), twine, fleece, and whatever other stock you can find on offer.
It is possible to go overboard and buy things you do not need. It is advised you buy things you need and have room for and buy it there and then. If you dither the next time you go you will find nothing, as the cupboard will be bare. Be quick, be decisive and be frugal. Kerching 3.
If you happen to have an accident or by natural wear and tear a terracotta or stone container breaks, do not throw them away. Be wise and use the broken pieces of terracotta and stones as crocks to line the bottom of containers.
This will not only improve the drainage but also means that less compost will be needed. A double kerching. You could also use them to make beautiful mosaics in pathways or as a beautiful feature in ponds. Kerching 4.
You have many beautiful plants in your garden that not only produce seeds but they can be used to increase your new plants for free. You can have divisions and cuttings to create clones or your favourite plants.
This will not only multiple your plants for free, but also can be used to ‘back up’ your favourite plants if they were lost due to bad weather, such as waterlogging or frost, or even by accident. You can see it as an insurance policy.
I will be going into cuttings and other propagation techniques in a new series in the near future. You are getting a lot of future plans with this post. Kerching 5.
Save all your kitchen scraps (apart from cooked food) and your garden waster to make your own compost. Use this as a supplement to your container compost, which will save you the need to buy extra compost.
Not only good for the environment but your bank manager will thank you for it. I will not go to this in great detail now but if you want to know how to make your own compost, then read this. Kerching 6.
When you buy plants in 9cm diameter pots, 2 litres pots or 5 litres pots instead of throwing them away, save them and reuse them. You will need to wash them out to remove any pests or disease that they may have held within.
You can use them to raise the young seedlings or to raise cuttings in. Your wallet will thank you and so would the planet as plastic usage in the garden will be reduced. Go green and save money at the same time. Kerching 7.
Do visit local garden centres to find out what will grow in your area. They will have researched your area very well and will not recommend plants that will not do well, as this will quickly put them out of business. So my next tip us to buy plants that will do well in your local area and this will reduce the likelihood that you will buy plants that will not do well.
Look around your local neighbour for free inspiration looking to which plant does well and which does not. You will then not need to worry about which plant to buy and which plant not to buy in your local area. Kerching 8.
If you are looking for a challenge and you have the time and patience why not buy a plant that is not at its best. I mean a plant that is still living still showing some green and some new grown. Not plants that look dead there is no point buying a dead horse.
Take the plant home and repot into a large container full of new compost, feed well, water well and generally look after it. If by skill or by luck, the chance the plant will survive will improve, and you will have new plant at a fraction of the cost. If it survives then that is great, if it does not, you will have learnt some valuable skills that can be used in the container garden, so nothing will be wasted. Kerching 9.
I know I might sound crazy but you can skip hunting. This is when you see a skip outside a house full of building rubble garden waste, wood, and other unmentionables, Look in the skip to see if there is anything you can use from old planters, wood, bricks, or anything else you can use in the garden.
There are a couple of rules that need to be followed. First rule do not enter the skip, as this can cause injury and the second rule ask the owner permission before taking anything. Just knock at the front door and ask, often they are happy for you to take it away. Do not take without asking as this is not polite.
If you are a good DIYer then this tip is for you. Kerching 10.
If you thought these were the end of my useful tips then you are wrong, as I have two extra tips as a bonus.
I know, I know I am too good for you, I like to treat my readers to free extras.
BONUS TIP 11
Save water by getting a water butt. Water butts are a water harvesting device that is placed on your outside downpipe, collecting rainwater as it falls from the sky. This will not only save you money, if you have a water meter but is actually better for your plant. Water butts are great in the garden but vital for the container garden. Kerching 11.
BONUS TIP 12
Some of us are lucky enough to live near stables or farmland where animals are being reared. These animals often have to do their business, which has to be disposed of. If you have a strong nose you can ask the farmer or horse breeder, if you can have their ‘Product’. Often they are pleased to get rid of the stuff and if you can collect them, they will give it to you for free.
Make sure you use a strong bag and plenty of linings in your car, as you do not want your car smelling the thick perfume of animal excrement. If you cannot, do not worry, as some farmer will deliver to you for free if they are generous or for a small price. Do not rush to use them straight away as it will be too strong to use in the garden. You will need to wait a year before it can be used and so you will need a space to be able to store it.
This is one of the best supplements you can buy for your garden. Kerching 12.
SAVE MONEY WITH MY TIPS
In this article, I have given 10 money and time-saving tips for your container garden, or and garden in general. I have even included two extra bonuses, I have come up with many practical suggestions that in some cases will not only benefit the environment but also your wallet. You can apply these tips so that you are not only a smart gardener but a suave gardener.
If you have any comments you wish to make or a question about any tips you have seen, please do so in the comment box below.
If you are happy with my tips, please give a kerching in the comment box.