Many people love their gardens and making their gardens look good. However, the costs of gardening can be quite high and sometimes it can really add up. If you are struggling to cover the costs or need a loan to pay for everything then it is worth thinking through what you are doing to see whether there are any areas where you are able to save money.
Make your own compost
Many people will buy bags of compost, but it is possible to make your own. However, just putting all your weeds, old plants and grass cuttings in a pile may not be enough. It is important to learn how to compost items properly. You may have to aerate them, have the right humidity and heat to get everything to break down properly. You may also find that there are certain plants and items that should not really be put in them. It is good to do some research and make sure that you are doing things properly so that you have success with it and are able to use the compost for your pots, hanging baskets and vegetable patch and save some money.
Collect seeds and cuttings
Many people will buy seeds and plants each season. It can be fun choosing new things and adding different colours to your garden. However, if you often find that you buy the same plants, then it could be worth collecting seeds or cuttings from the plants that you buy so that you can grow them yourself. It can be very satisfying knowing that you have grown something yourself from scratch as well.
Many people will buy pots for when they are growing seeds or cuttings. This can be expensive and there is no need to keep buying them over and over again. You could reuse pots once you buy them or you may be able to find things that you could use around the house. Perhaps things that you would normally recycle like yogurt pots or margarine tubs would be useful to use. If you do not have things like this then ask friends and family or ask on facebook groups or places like freecycle to see if you can get some.
If you are buying plants and other garden equipment make sure that you shop around. Garden centres can be really expensive and you will find that nurseries tend to be cheaper. You might find that checking prices online, on the websites belonging to the places that you are visiting, will help you to see which will be cheaper before you leave home. You might even find that seeds and cuttings can be exchanged with other gardeners. If you find local groups either online or not, you might be able to meet up with other people that want what you have but have things that you want. It can be a nice way to socialise and share tips as well.
Buy plants that last
To save you all the hassle of growing plants at all you can always buy more mature plants. These are much more expensive than seeds or small plants though. However, they can be a really good investment if you buy hardy plants that will not die off over the winter. This means that they will last all of the time and you will not have to pay out to replace them. They may change in appearance perhaps, change the colour of their leaves or lose their leaves, but they will not normally die when the weather gets colder.
Make the garden smaller
If your expense is a gardener then making the garden smaller can be a help. You might pave some areas or put in some decking so that you do not have so much lawn to cut. Putting gravel or lawn over boarders and beds can lead to less work as well. It can be hard doing this, as you may love the way that your garden is. However, try to make the most of the new features that you put in and also concentrate on making the parts you can see through your windows the prettiest. Even if you do not have a gardener reducing the amount of grass and beds could help to keep the costs down anyway as you will not have to buy so many plants or so much fertiliser and things like this. It might be easier for you to make it more manageable anyway. There will be an outlay to start with for the materials, but you will make savings as you do not need to buy so many things in the future.
Grow things that save you money
It might be that you can grow things that save you buying so many items. For example, if you grow vegetables or fruit then you can enjoy the harvest and you will not have to buy so many yourself. It might take a few years of growing them and learning about the right conditions etc to get the best crop but it could end up saving you money. With flowers you could do the same thing. If you like having cut flowers or pot plants in the house then you could grow those types of plants so that you do not need to buy them.