It’s so easy to go over budget when you’re trying to grow your own food – and sometimes you have to remind yourself to be just that little bit more thrifty. This might be a funny way of looking at it, but there’s certainly some truth in the following money-wasting tips!
1. Only buy fully-grown plants to ‘save yourself hassle’
Admittedly, not everything grows well from seed (tarragon, etc), and some plants need specialist propagation or hothouse conditions to get started, but most edible UK plants can be grown from seed from start to finish for a few pence.
2. Only grow exotic, novelty plants and ignore traditional varieties
Hard-to-find is expensive, and hard-to-grow can end up with no harvest at all. By all means try a few new varieties here and there, but think twice if you can’t provide the right growing conditions. If it calls for a heated greenhouse, it’s probably not going to be a bargain.
3. Go completely over the top when you’re buying seeds
Anyone who’s been bitten by the grow-your-own bug will be able to tell you how easy it is to go on a spending spree when faced with a gardening catalogue, or a website, or those interesting displays in garden centres, or the pound shops, or the supermarket or…. Get the picture?
4. Buy specialist compost, fertilisers and other treatments
Yes, you need ericaceous compost if you’re growing blueberries. But you don’t need special compost just for your strawberries, or a specific (or any) fertiliser for your peas and beans.
5. Stick to designer pots and garden accessories
Nothing racks up the cost like the top of the range planters, pots and other decorations. Although it might look pretty, you can always find cheaper alternatives. And of course, less is more – don’t go too OTT on the garden accessories.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy a designer terracotta strawberry planter, two dozen top of the line hybrid strawberry plants, some liquid feed especially created for strawberries, and 100 litres of strawberry compost. Should work out at about, let’s say, £1 per berry. Bargain.
Do you have any fantastic money-wasting garden tips of your own? I’d love to hear them.