One of the benefits of living in an actual house over a unit in an apartment building is that it is possible to build a garden. Whether you have a windowsill, a front porch, a rooftop or an entire backyard or front lawn to use as a garden, the greens will add great value to your home.
Perhaps one of the reasons why some homeowners fail to beautify their homes with a garden is that they think there’s too much work and money involved. Although there’s no doubt that gardening does involve a lot of work, there is no need for you to spend a fortune on maintaining it.
In the next sections, we will be counting down the reasons why you should put up a garden in the first place. We will also dish out tips on how you can maintain a garden without paying a fortune for it. Read all about these money saving tips for your garden!
Here Are a Few Money Saving Tips for Your Garden
First, what are the reasons why it pays to put up a garden in the first place? Take a look at the following list:
Gardening is a chore that’s good for the mind and body
No matter what age you are in, you are bound to enjoy a multitude of mind-and-body benefits from gardening. Getting your hands dirty will give you that physical activity needed to nourish your body.
During sunny days, you can soak in some of that healthy vitamin D from sunlight. Studies show that gardening has been proven to lower blood pressure, stress levels, cholesterol and decrease the signs of depression. More importantly, even the simple act of looking through the rich colors of a garden can boost one’s mood and promote tranquillity and happiness.
Gardening has a positive impact to the environment
With all the global warming-related problems that the world is experiencing today, it has become a must for each and every homeowner to tend to a garden. It doesn’t matter if it’s an herbal garden, if you’re growing ornamental or flowering plants, or if you have a full-fledged vegetable garden. The mere fact that you are growing plants already creates that much-needed positive impact to the environment.
If you would like to cut back on your home’s cooling or heating bills, having an energy-efficient landscaping can even cut back your consumption by up to 20%. This is not to mention the fact that the plants all contribute towards making the air a bit greener. If you’re growing fruits or veggies, you can also save money by producing your own food instead of buying it from the market.
Having a well-tended garden increases the value of your property
More importantly, having a well-tended, landscaped and beautifully-maintained garden helps increase the value of your property. Should you find the need to move in the future, the garden helps boost the resale value of the house.
Ways to Save Money While Maintaining a Garden
As you can see, there are many reasons why it pays to maintain a home garden. But if you would like to have a well-maintained garden, you do have to spend time and money in tending to it. You would also have to invest money in buying gardening tools, the plants themselves, and products that will help eliminate the presence of pests or insects on the garden.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways for you to save money while maintaining a garden, including the following:
Use kitchen staples to deal with slugs
One of the biggest enemies of homeowners tending to gardens is slugs. This is the common name of a shell-less mollusc and the ones present in most home exteriors are garden slugs. What slugs do to ruin your garden is eat the leaves or fruits of the plants but more than that, they also consume decayed vegetation, dead leaves and dead flesh.
If you’re trying to maintain an organic garden, having these pests ruin your plants is not a good thing at all. So what are the most common solutions for dealing with slugs? There are slug killers or traps which are available in hardware stores, but they are really not that effective in warding off the pesky molluscs. Not only that, but they do cost money to buy as well.
What you can use as an alternative to commercial-grade slug zappers are kitchen staples like beer, Epsom salts, salt or vinegar. Once you see the first signs of slugs harming your garden, place a saucer of beer around the plant to keep the molluscs from ruining the leaves. You can also sprinkle Epsom salts, table salt or spray some vinegar onto the plants to prevent them from being ruined by slugs.
Make your own compost
Instead of buying fertilizer, you can make your own compost instead. More than just saving money when purchasing commercial-grade fertilizer, making your own compost will help you deal with excess waste from the kitchen. So how are you supposed to make your own compost? You can use a small corner of your garden as a spot to mature compost.
Simply dig a small, deep hole onto the ground. Every day, you can add grass cuttings, dried straw or kitchen scrap onto the hole and cover it with a layer of soil. Make sure to turn and mix the compost regularly so that the nutrients from the scrap material can be embedded onto the soil. After about six months, you can use the compost as fertilizer by incorporating it onto the soil in your garden.
During the planting process, use eco-friendly, cheap materials
Instead of buying seed trays, fancy plant boxes and similar materials, be creative and artistic with your plant holders. Use colorful empty egg cartons, milk containers or fruit punnets when planting seedlings. If you don’t have that much space, you can use halved soda liter bottles as plant boxes, which you can arrange vertically against a wall.
You can also ask your local supermarket for wooden or plastic crates which you can use to store plants during the winter.
Start a gardening project with a friend
When you’re just starting out in building a garden, you would need to buy garden soil, seedlings and all the other basic gardening tools. To save money, you can simply swap samples with friends instead of buying the individual seeds. You can also ask your gardening buddy for advice when it comes to growing a specific plant species.
Have a DIY garden-watering system
Instead of having a professional plumber install a fancy watering system for you, simply use an old hose pipe that you may have outside your home. Punch a small hole on strategic points of the house, then snake it through your garden. Turn the faucet on and voila, you have your very own garden irrigation system!
Learn how to get mulch cheaply
If you’re looking for free mulch for your garden, ask the crew of trucks dealing with cleared trees if they are willing to dump some wood chips in your home. They would have to be off-loaded at the end of the day, anyway, so you might as well use them in your own garden. you can also ask the local government in your area if you can get discarded wood products for free.
Know which solutions can help you deal with other garden insects
Instead of buying fancy bug zappers or chemical-based products to keep insects away from your garden, use fabric softener sheets instead. Place them near outdoor light fixtures, and the scent of the heated fabric softener sheets would keep the insects away.
Look for cheap ways to deal with weeds
To eliminate weeds from your garden, one solution would be to place layers of newspaper on the soil before mulching over them in your garden. The layers of newspaper will help block weeds from growing, and can even help retain moisture on the soil. You can also kill weed by using boiling water from cooking pasta or potatoes, and dousing the weeds – not the plants – with the scalding liquid.
If you must buy plants, do it during the end-of-season sales
You don’t want plants to die so you may want to try out a seedling first before actually planting a whole batch. This means that if you don’t want to pour your money down the drain, you should not buy plants which you have not tested out in your garden yet.
After you’re sure about which species can grow, do your shopping during end-of-season sales. You are bound to enjoy up to 50% price slash offs during these sales which are held at nurseries or garden centers.
Additional tips for saving money in the garden
Finally, apply the basic rule of reusing, reducing and recycling in your garden. Turn old plastic bottles into watering cans or collect bare twigs to use as bean support. Do your research so that you can successfully grow plants based on the soil type that your garden has instead of watching them wilt and die. You can also learn more about proper plant cutting and propagation methods.
There’s really no experience to match having a well-maintained garden, especially if you did not spend that much money tending to it. Whether you are growing fruits and veggies, flowering plants or if they are purely ornamental, having a beautiful garden is a worthwhile endeavor.