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Gardening on a Budget: How To Cut Costs In The Garden

Photo by Valentina Locatelli on Unsplash

Other than the weeds, trimming your gardening budget is also a good idea. With all the things your garden needs to stay alive and healthy, knowing how to cut costs in the garden is a skill in itself.

However, this is also a balancing act. How would you decrease your spending without compromising the health of your garden? How do you trim cost without trimming quality?

Gardening on a budget may seem hard at first, but there are many ways to go about this concept. Let’s talk about it!

How To Cut Costs In The Garden

Installing a water butt

Installing a water butt is an excellent idea to start off with. It is also an easy task. Think about it; you can harness the value of rainwater, a free resource, to use in your garden. This method is even a Do-It-Yourself project so you’ll avoid having to spend even more on installing the water butt.

Also known as a rain barrel or rainwater tank in other countries, installing one is a fairly straightforward process. The water butt should be positioned directly underneath the pre-installed downpipe in your home.

These are the tools you need to prepare:

  • Power Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Spirit Level
  • Pencil or Pen Marker
  • Tape Measure

Once you’ve gathered all six of these tools, time to gather the essential materials.

These are the essential materials you need to prepare:

  • The Water Butt
  • A water butt stand (optional)
  • Pre-installed downpipe
  • Diverter (rain trap)
  • Tap
  • Hose
  • Lid Cover
  • Water butt pump (optional; it adds pressure to the water for watering or cleaning)
  • Connector Kit (optional; should you need two tanks)

One great advantage a water butt offers apart from using it to water the garden is that it can also be used to clean the car or the driveway. When you’re laying a gravel path, you will need to clean and polish the entire path at the end of the task. Having a large bucket of water and a hose right beside that path is a great convenience. In the end, installing a water butt might not solve your financial problems. However, it helps in its own way, and you’re doing nature a favour by not wasting any more water. Win-win!


Compost is any decayed organic material that you can use as plant fertiliser. Every garden can benefit from compost. Best of all, it is an excellent substitute to expensive fertilisers.

Basic ingredients of compost:

  • Greens – vegetable waste, grass clippings, coffee grounds, fruit scraps, and the like.
  • Water
  • Browns – Branches, twigs, dead leaves and the like.

Note: there should be an equal ratio of browns to greens. The greens provide nitrogen, while the browns provide carbon to your plants. The water moisturises the materials; thus, aiding in breaking them down.

Here are a few more items you can use as compost material

  • Houseplants
  • Hay and straw
  • Tea bags
  • Eggshells
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Ashes from the fireplace
  • Nutshells
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Wool and cotton rags
  • Hair and fur
  • Tree / shrub trimmings

Composting improves soil quality, suppresses plant diseases, and staves away pests. Other than that, it also helps retain moisture and minimises the need for chemical fertilisers. Composting also helps mother nature in a way that it lowers our collective carbon footprint and it helps to reduce methane emissions from landfills around your area.

Most of all, composting can help save money, even if that isn’t its primary purpose. Since composting helps retain moisture in the soil, you won’t have to water as often. Also, you can yield more agricultural crops when they are grown in composted soil. If you’re a farmer or a businessman in the industry, this would mean higher income for you. These are its many benefits; however, there are still many more.

Raised-bed garden

Knowing the best soil for raised beds and giving each plant proper care is essential to this type of gardening; however, that is also true for all other gardening methods. So, why choose it over regular gardening?

It has its benefits. The bigger the garden, the more money and resources it needs to stay healthy. Thus, taking a good look at your garden and identifying areas where you can cut costs will be worth your time.

Transforming your regular garden into a raised-bed garden will allow you to control precisely how small or large your garden will be; thus, also allowing you to control the expenses. Plus, transforming your garden to a raised-bed garden will give you a more considerable walking or driving area.

Another benefit of a raised-bed garden is that the nutrients and care your plants will receive will be concentrated on them since they will not be competing with other plants in the garden.

This would be especially beneficial if you are growing different types of plants or crops. Some vegetables are quite difficult to grow in contrast to others. While even a beginner can successfully grow tomatoes, aubergines are a whole other story. Thus, separating them in different beds would make things more manageable for you.

DIY-Edging (recycle edging)

Rather than buying new material for your garden edging, why not use recyclable materials found around the house?

Since edging is basically setting an outline or barrier for your plants, you can use almost anything that can do the job. Here are a few of our suggestions:

    • Cinder blocks
    • Old wine or spirit bottles
    • Small flower pots
    • A sheet of steel
    • Rocks of any kind
    • Scrap Wood
    • Bicycle wheels
    • Old logs
    • Unused plates
    • Bricks
    • Stones
    • Car Rims
    • Bowling balls

As you can see from this list, basically you can use anything you can get your hands on. Your creativity is the limit. You may even choose to intentionally be unsymmetrical with the design and create your own pattern.

One of the many advantages of DIY edging is that because you can create almost any pattern and use any material, you can most certainly match your garden edging with the overall theme of your yard or home.

See it through!

No matter which, or how many, of these methods you wish to apply, you should see it through. Don’t stop half-way. It may even be best to try two or all of these methods all at once if you can. Saving money, no matter in which area of your life, will always be about self-discipline. This isn’t any different in gardening.

However, since you have read this far, you’re probably on the right track already. Happy gardening!