Eight ways to trim back on garden costs
Want your outdoor space to look its best? Give these tips a go, says Vicky Shaw
Decking out an outdoor space can be costly. Previous research from Lloyds Bank has found people spend an average of £170 on their gardens between April and September. Of course, if you love your garden then this may be money well spent - but it's always handy to consider ways to save some cash. Here's how...
1. Join a local garden club
This is a great way to get very cheap, or free plants. You could also pick up some tips from other members and find out from them which plants grow particularly well in your area.
2. Think small
Large plants can be costly. You could save a lot of money by growing plants from seed, or if that sounds too tricky some retailers will sell very young plants, which you can pot on at home until they're big enough to be planted out.
3. Divide plants
Try splitting some of the plants that are already growing in your garden into smaller clumps and dotting them around to fill in any gaps. To boost your chances of dividing plants successfully, the Royal Horticultural Society suggests dividing plants when they're not in active growth.
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4. Make your own compost
Just add vegetable peelings, soft hedge clippings, cut grass and old bedding plants and you're good to go.
5. Save money on gardening tools
Look out on local community websites, as well as sites where people are giving away items for free. Family members may also have some old spades and gardening forks they no longer use.
6. Grow your own food
Whether you're aiming for 'best in show' tomatoes or planting fresh herbs into pots on your windowsill to throw into meals, growing plants for food can be a very tasty way to make savings.
7. Avoid false economies when buying 'statement' plants
If you're buying a shrub or tree which you want to make the focal point of your garden, it may well be worth investing a bit more money rather than going for a less expensive option but then regretting it.
8. Finally, look after your plants
Many plants fail due to being watered too much or not enough. So try to get the balance right and make giving them regular care part of your routine.