The best things in life are not always free, like growing a beautiful garden. But there sure are smart ways to do it without tipping the bank balance. This article is dedicated to all the avid gardeners and will provide you with useful ideas for getting free plants, discounted gardening tools, finding out the most suitable plants in your area and that too without having to spend a dime. Find out how to go about it.
Get free advice
Find out the local gardening group and become a member. Meet other gardeners and learn about the plants that are suitable for your area. Plants are as sensitive as people are and shrivel up for the slightest reason. If you are a novice who doesn’t know hardy annuals from perennials, other experts can give you free advice. You might even get some plants to start with, for free. Fellow gardeners would gladly share their plants and gardening tips with pride.
Gardening or Landscaping crews grow beautiful ornamental plants. They have to throw away many plants as they don’t allow overcrowding of plants. So they often trim and uproot plants that have no use for them. Get cuttings or seedlings from them. If you are not too sure about growing them, use them for bartering or trading. Use the same idea with people on the move. They usually leave behind pots and plants that they can’t carry with them.
Visit recycling centers
Unwanted gardening tools and other equipment usually land up in recycling centers. Visit them often or get them to contact you. Run through classifieds or freebies on offer in your area. Free plant troughs, pond plants, garden chairs and paving slabs may be yours for the asking. Lawn mowers and garden furniture are sometimes available for a throwaway price. Gardening tools are also hired out in local residents groups. Get in touch with them.
Make your own compost
Greens and Browns mixed together in equal proportions make a perfect composition for manure. Browns are paper, cardboard, twigs, fallen leaves, sawdust and broken branches. Greens are filter paper, vegetable and fruit peels, grass cuttings, tea bags and old flowers. Get the complete guide for making your own compost either from the website like ‘Recycle now’, or from the gardening group.
Make your own weedkiller and plant nutrient
Don’t waste money in buying expensive weedkillers. Make your own that is simple and easy. To kill weeds, spray undiluted white vinegar on the weed. Reapply on any new growth till the plant is completely destroyed. Vinegar can also be used to destroy grass. For the plant nutrient, mix one part of vinegar with eight parts of water and combine with a solution of sugar and water in the same proportion of 1:8. For more details log on to the Vinegar Institute on the internet.
It is much cheaper to sow seeds before summer so that you have a colorful splash of flowers when the hot season starts. Choose biennial seeds like hollyhocks, sweet williams and foxgloves that will give you good value in a year’s time. Browse the net for cheap seeds offered at a discount, like e-bay. You might use just a pinch or two of the seeds. The rest can be sealed and stored or exchanged for other varieties with friends
Grow small bulb flowers
Many bulb flowers like lilies, daffodils, crocus, aconite, iris and hyacinth are perennials that bloom every year, without having to be dug up or divided. The pure whites, sunny yellows, blush pinks and brilliant blues can be used to liven up any garden. What is more, they can be grown in small containers( especially the small bulbs), that’s a boon for apartment dwellers. These plants grow to a height of about 4 to 6 inches and thrive even in cold winters.
Attend flower shows
Flower shows held annually are great places to be in, if you want to grow a budget garden. Here you can get expert advice, a wide range of plants to choose from, whether it is a vegetable garden, rock garden or ornamental plants and flowers. You can get guidance on growing them, right from preparing the soil to propagating them. Experts can give tips on maintaining the plants, how much to water and how frequently, what are the plants most suitable and the best methods to grow them.
Choose plants with good yield
In the vegetable garden, grow plants vertically if you are short of space. Climbers like peas and zucchini need very little ground area and give back more than 50 times their initial investment. A packet of tomato seeds costs as much as the price of a single tomato, but yields 30 to 40 plants per packet. You can trade with any extra veggies with your other gardening friends or neighbors. It helps you make good friends in the neighborhood with lots of ideas that you can exchang with them.
Reuse every article
Any article that you throw away as broken, too old, dull or too bright can be reused as garden decor. Old figurines in clay or porcelain that may be broken looks great in the middle of the plants. If it is a drab pot or vessel, use it as a container for growing bulbs. Even the net divider which is used in games can be used for climbing creepers of flowers or veggies. It will be covered up in no time by the creeper. Newspapers can be used as mulch along with the compost. Think twice before throwing anything away.