This year’s budget for the kitchen garden is £60 all in, and has to last until the 31st of December (not that I tend to do much gardening in December). That’s because it’s very, very easy to spend more money on setting up and running a kitchen garden than you actually save on your fruit and vegetables bill.
The garden here has to be on budget, and it also has to be productive. On the productive side of things, I’ve started out by investing in some new seeds. Most of what I had was ancient, and although I did save some seeds from last year I didn’t have half of what I wanted. I’m trying to strike a balance between heirloom varieties where you can save seeds from year to year and the newer F1 type plants that won’t breed true but may well give you far more food due to their extra productivity, disease resistance and general hybrid vigour.
So far I’ve spent £9.45 at MoreVeg, a great little site that allows you to buy lots of tiny packets of seeds, ideal for small gardens where you want lots of variety. You get free P&P if you spend over £10, which I technically did due to buying some flower seeds too.
Although I grow flowers, these are largely decorative so they’re included in a separate household budget for decoration, and the same goes for any pots or compost they end up growing in. I’m also not including things like outdoor furniture or decking oil in the budget.
I also spent £7.72 in total at Thompson & Morgan, including postage. I managed to combine their 50%-off voucher code with their general spring sale, which worked out at 75% discount for nearly everything. That meant I could afford to buy some F1 tomato seeds that can allegedly resist blight, and try a few new varieties of squash and pumpkin from nice fresh seeds. Those sales don’t happen very often, and they’re usually relatively late at the start of the growing season, but if you hold your nerve you can find some proper bargains. The total price also includes a rebate because I bought them through a cashback site.
Finally, there was a Wilko delivery, including cashback, because we don’t have a car. It included organic slug pellets, chicken manure pellets, tomato feed, compost, and lots of sundries such as new windowsill propagators and plant pots. That totted up to be £35.87, bringing the grand total spend so far this year to £53.04. See how quickly it starts to add up?
As well as having £6.96 cash left in the kitty, we also have various gift vouchers left over from Christmas, birthdays and doing paid surveys. Waste not, want not! Some of it will go towards paying for seedlings, and I’m keeping the rest back in reserve in case of infestations of garden pests, and other emergencies. I’ve also been given a new mini greenhouse and some garden snips for my birthday, both of which are great.
Last of all, I’m going to be some collaborations and presentations with garden manufacturers and retailers throughout 2016, so that you can see some of their lovely wares. That should add interest to the site and help to keep the garden going as well! First up is something photogenic from Dobbies, so stay tuned for the pictures.
How much have you spent so far on gardening this year? And is it me, or is it getting much harder to find bargain priced packets of seeds in the budget shops?