Money Wellness
Illustrated image of flowers growing. How to garden on a budget
category iconmoney saver
calendar icon20 May 2024

10 savvy ways to garden on a budget

Chelsea Flower Show kicks off tomorrow – the highlight of the year for millions of budding gardening enthusiasts. 

Brits are renowned for their love of gardens. More than 27 million households - 42% of the population – say they enjoy tending to their green spaces.

And while the Chelsea Flower Show is all about exuberance and expense, looking after your garden doesn't need to cost the earth. We've put together our top tips to help you make the most out of your outdoor space – regardless of whether it’s a window box, a small patch of grass or acres of space - without breaking the bank.

1. Sow the seeds of savings

Packets of seeds are much cheaper than seedlings or plants. Before heading to your local garden centre, check online for cheaper deals. Discount stores like Poundland and Aldi may also sell affordable packets of seeds.

2. Get creative with recycling

Old guttering, colanders, plastic bottles, tyres, wellies, wheelbarrows, or even old drawers can be repurposed for planting. With a little imagination and time, you can create a completely unique and budget-friendly garden.

3. Compost your way to savings

Starting your own compost heap is an environmentally friendly way to deal with kitchen and garden waste and also saves money on expensive bags from garden centres. Good items to compost include:

  • Veg peelings and fruit waste
  • Teabags and coffee grounds
  • Plant prunings and grass cuttings
  • Cardboard egg boxes and scrunched-up paper
  • Crushed egg shells

4. Whip up your own weedkiller

Instead of buying expensive weedkiller, raid your kitchen cupboards for a cheaper alternative. Mix white wine vinegar, salt, and washing up liquid for an effective, non-toxic solution that dries out and destroys weeds.

5. Keep pests at bay with caffeine

Coffee granules and eggshells are proven ways to keep slugs and snails out of your flower and vegetable beds. Slugs turn back when they come into contact with caffeinated soil, while the sharp edges of eggshells deter them from crawling over.

Plus coffee granules also give your plants the kick they need to reach their full potential.

6. Bag a Bargain on Second-Hand Tools

You don't need to spend a fortune on gardening tools. Look for good deals on sites like Gumtree, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace, or ask green-fingered friends and family if they have any spares to lend or give away.

7. Grow your own savings

When planning what to grow each year, prioritise fruits and veggies that tend to be pricey at the supermarket, like leafy herbs, salad leaves, and soft fruits like strawberries.

8. Divide and conquer with perennials

Many herbaceous perennials can be divided to make more plants, giving you more bang for your buck. You can also split supermarket herbs or set up a neighbourhood scheme to share offcuts or separated perennials.

9. Light up your nights on a budget

Garden lighting doesn't have to be expensive to make a difference. Use candles in lanterns, string battery-operated fairy lights, or opt for solar-powered post lights or spotlights. Just remember to use soft lighting to protect bats and insects and turn them off when you're not using the garden.

10. Hunt down cheap or free treasures

Look out for decorations and garden furniture that won’t break the bank at charity shops and card boot sales. E.g., pick up mirrors and place them in flower beds for decoration and to create an illusion of space.

Searching "garden" on Vinted brings up everything from a "Welcome to our garden" sign for £3 to a cheeky mooning gnome for £4. Add other keywords like "lantern" or "lights" to refine your search. Just be sure to check if the item is still available and compare prices before committing.

Or you could find local gems on Facebook Marketplace or check out reclamation yards for pre-used items things like stone birdbaths or paving.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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