Gardening on a budget
Now that the days are getting longer, it’s the perfect time to dust off the gardening gloves and start getting ready for Grandparent Gardening Week.
The good news is, you shouldn’t even need to buy anything. You’ll be surprised about how much you can do in the garden for little or no money by being a creative with whatever is lying around.
Here’s our budget guide to gardening for all ages.
1. You can grow plants in anything
Got a pair of old wellies at the back of the shed? Give them a new lease of life by planting strawberries in them. Or how about asking your local industrial estate for spare palettes and turning them into herb gardens? Even Ikea bags make brilliant planters. The sky’s the limit when it comes to containers.
2. Organise a seed swap in your community
Reach out to parents, grandparents and your local community and host a seed swap. Buying packets of seeds can soon build up the cost, and many keen gardeners will harvest the seeds of their crops for the following season.
3. The best compost is free
Quality, nutrient rich soil is made up from lots of organic matter – in other words, all the potato peelings, egg shells, coffee grinds that get thrown away. Use these to make your own compost without spending a penny.
4. Make a DIY irrigation system
Make sure your plants are watered by simply poking holes in upcycled plastic bottles to create an irrigation system. It’s also the best way to get some mileage out of disposable plastic.
5. Seedling trays of change
One person’s empty egg box is another’s seedling tray. Loo roll tubes are the perfect size and shape for seedlings too. And if you need more, make paper pots from recycled newspaper. This is a great group activity too – get a production line going!
6. Ask for hand me downs
Many gardeners have collected far more tools than they will ever use, and duplicates are banished to the hidden depths of sheds and garages. Encourage parents, grandparents and your local community to have a spring clean and donate spare tools and gardening supplies to a good cause. Older tools are often sturdier and better quality, which means they’ll last longer.
7. Forage your plant supports
If you’re growing beans or peas or any other climbing plants, they’ll need to be supported. Instead of shopping for bamboo canes, go for a forage. Hazel and other trees and shrubs that have long, straight stems are the ones to look out for on the forest floor.
Share your ideas
Have your own ways of being frugal with your fruit cages and canny with your compost? Tag us on Twitter or Facebook @SAFoodforLife. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #GrandparentGardeningWeek and #FFLGetTogethers
Feeling inspired? Get involved in Grandparent Gardening Week today!