How to garden on a budget

Published 7:00am 14 June 2024

How to garden on a budget
Words by Kylie Knight

If, like me, you enjoy foraging in the garden at the end of the day searching for a few extra fresh items to enhance the dinner plate, you’ll also be looking for ways to make this a more sustainable and budget-friendly experience.

Sure, sharing with the neighbours, swapping cuttings and dividing plants works… but what else can you do to increase what you have without breaking the bank?

Grow from seed

Garden centres offer a fantastic selection of seeds suitable for local conditions. The tip is to ‘succession plant’. Every 2-4 weeks plant another small batch of seeds to ensure a regular supply and not a glut of the same. Water your seedlings with a seaweed solution (Seasol or Seamax) initially to help the roots establish. Seedlings offer a fast-track alternative for those who want less volume and more variety.

Plants that keep giving

Plant your pineapple tops in free draining soil in a sunny position (pot or garden) to grow your own, bury sprouting sweet potatoes for an endless supply that can be harvested as required, let your herbs self seed and you’ll always have a fresh selection on hand. Collect chilli, beans, peas, nasturtium and marigold seeds for the kids to re-plant seasonally. Keep them in a cool, dry and dark environment and label with the date of harvest and variety.

Fertilisers and insecticides

Keep it simple. While some garden issues call for a specific product, most can be solved with a multi-purpose one. Australian made Troforte M All Purpose fertiliser can be used on everything in your garden – lawns, natives, cacti and succulents, edibles, flowers and trees, offering a fool-proof and easy option fertiliser for all gardens. Searles Trifend garden spray provides a triple action formula for systemic control of pests, blackspot, rust, mites and fungus on indoor and outdoor plants (not suitable for edibles), so your garden shed isn’t laden with a product for every situation.

Re-use and re-purpose

Many household containers make ideal planters. Clean well and ensure there is sufficient drainage before using a good quality potting mix to plant your seeds or seedlings. Make your own compost with your household waste – dry leaves, shredded paper, wood shavings, straw/hay, cardboard, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, feathers, egg shells, grass and plant clippings will create a rich, organic blend ideal for digging into garden beds. Rinse your harvested vegetables in the garden and re-use that water on your plants.

No garden, no worries – buy a bag of potting mix, puncture drainage holes on one side and cut small openings on the other. Plant a punnet of your favourite seedlings directly into the mix and you’ve got a vegetable patch! Ideal for leafy greens, herbs, brassicas and flowers.

Happy gardening!

TOP TIPS

  • Look out for ‘multi-buy’ options on potting mixes and seedlings in garden centres
  • Pots and hanging baskets make great herb gardens. Grow close to the barbecue or kitchen for a quick and tasty addition to your meals – much cheaper than grocery store offerings
  • Always plant to suit the season and your conditions
  • Grow what you love
How to garden on a budget

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