You don’t need to dig deep into your wallet to create a beautiful garden – we reveal our experts’ top 10 tips to help save money in your garden this summer.
This time of year sees gardeners dusting off their lawn mowers, scrubbing down their barbecues and washing off their patios.
And gardening can be costly. Which? Gardening members spend an average of £100 on flowering plants, seeds and bulbs in a year, according to a survey in May 2013. And 1% admitted to spending more than £500.
But you don’t need to spend a lot of cash – here are our top tips to cut costs in your garden.
Top money-saving gardening tips
- Buy garden essentials out of season – Buy tools, patio furniture and barbecues at the end of the summer. Most retailers offer end of season discounts, so by holding off on those big purchases, you could grab yourself a bargain.
- Divide perennials – Dig out large perennials and divide from the roots using a spade or fork – doing this will give you several smaller plants which you can then swap with friends or move to another part of the garden.
- Invest in Best Buy tools – Which? tests a range of garden products to help you spend wisely. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to find great tools – we’ve found Best Buy lawn mowers for under £100.
- Grow from seed – Planting seeds rather than buying more mature plants will save lots of cash. If there are too many seeds in the packet, split them with friends and family.
- Use left over compost – Using last year’s compost on its own could prevent your plants from thriving, but mix it with a Best Buy slow release fertiliser to grow various crops. Make sure your compost has been stored in a cool, dry place and don’t use it if it’s wet and smelly. If it is, pop it on the compost heap.
- Buy small – Don’t buy buy big trees or shrubs, you’re simply paying for the time they have spent growing. Instead invest in smaller trees and shrubs and wait for them to grow. Often they will establish themselves better anyway.
- Grow your own veg – Cut down on your supermarket bills and grow your own veg. We’ve crunched the numbers to see how much you could save – for example, you could grow 1kg of baby carrots for around 25p, but you’d pay about £3.30 for 1kg of baby carrots in a supermarket. You’ll also be able to limit any chemicals used for growing and it’s great for children to learn where their food comes from.
- Grab some Best Buy seeds – We reveal the Best Buy seeds so you can choose those that grow best, meaning you don’t waste money on inferior varieties.
- Consider hand tools – You could save cash by sticking with hand tools for some jobs. We found lawn edging shears performed better than electric strimmers, and a old fashioned brush and scoop were better than a leaf blower vac.
- Reuse ‘rubbish’ – There are loads of good ways of reusing ‘rubbish’ in the garden. Use woody prunings as plant supports, plastic bottles for watering or old bricks to make a path. We’ll reveal more in July’s Gardening magazine.
More gardening tips
Subscribe to Which? Gardening for loads more hints, tips and expert advice to get the most out of your garden.
And if this has inspired you to get out in the garden this weekend, check out the best gardening jobs for May.
- Find a great grass trimmer with our strimmer reviews
- Watch our video on how to cut the perfect lawn
- Give your plants the best chance with our Best Buy composts