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Money-Saving Gardeners Reveal 9 Budget Friendly Hacks

May 25, 2021, 10:00 AM
  • Recent data shows expenditure on gardening is forecast to increase by 5% in 2021
  • Money-saving gardeners from LatestDeals.co.uk reveal their tips for gardening on a budget
  • Tips include giving wilted plants some TLC, scouring car boot sales and making your own compost

The pandemic has seen increasing numbers of people gardening, with recent data revealing that spending in this area is forecast to increase by 5% - and going over £70 billion - in 2021.

With so many of us growing green fingers but not necessarily having the funds to sustain this hobby, how can we get gardening on a budget?

Bargain hunting gardeners from money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk came up with some top tips to help people avoid spending too much cash.

Go for the wilted plants

Lorraine Baines recommends nurturing plants that look past their sell by date. ‘Most garden centres have a reduced section - get your plants there, they just need TLC.’

Mark Davies agreed. ‘Wilted plants usually just need a bit of tender care and watering.’

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘It’s important to ensure wilting plants are properly hydrated. Provide them with water until the soil is moist. Try spraying them regularly if you want it to perk up quickly.’

Get composting

Lydia Andrews likes to create her own supplies. ‘Make your own compost - you can control what goes in it then too.’

John Grint said: ‘Having my own compost saves me plenty of money – just be aware that you’ll need to work at it and it takes up a fair bit of space.’

Tom added: ‘Food scraps and garden waste can easily be converted into compost that will feed your plants and nurture your soil.

‘Prepare a space in your garden and take out materials such as fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells and coffee grounds. Over the next year, it will all decompose and turn into a cheap alternative to store-bought compost.

‘I needed about 15 bags of compost to fill my 3 raised beds, so I got a bulk bag for just under £100. Now that I’m making my own, I’ll end up saving hundreds over the next few years!’

Buy plants which do the work for you

Tyler Edwards suggests picking out the strongest options. ‘Get plants that are hardy and will come back year after year.’

Carl Richardson added: ‘Try and get perennials as these come back again and again.

‘Alternatively, buy small shrub collections at B&Q or Homebase - try to get them reduced if possible. They will grow and spread to fill the borders and need little maintenance except a little pruning after a few years.’

John cautioned: ‘Avoid plants which grow vigorously, such as mint, geraniums and some bamboos.’

Make your plants portable

Tyler also had an idea for those who move around. ‘Put your plants in large pots, so if you move you can just take them with you.’

Tom added: ‘This is a really useful trick - after all, if you’re going to move house, why should you abandon what could be years of hard work in the garden? I recommend picking neutral colours for your plant pots so they will match any new area you put them in.

‘With the average cost of bedding plants being around £10 for a pack of 2 to 6, and patio plants costing anywhere between £20 and £200, it’s easy to rack up a bill going into the hundreds. Avoid leaving that investment behind by shopping smartly for some large pots.’

Shop around

Carl had some suggestions of where to go plant hunting. ‘Lidl, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi do different plants every couple of weeks, so keep a lookout. Poundland also does a really cheap selection of plants and scrubs in their garden section.’

Wendy pitched in: ‘Morrisons often sell plants looking a little tired for a few pence, and plenty of supermarkets are good for cheap summer bedding plants or trees or shrubs that will keep growing every year.’

Tom added: ‘It’s easy to buy plants such as lilacs, wisteria and petunias for between £10 and £25 on average online. Shopping in reduced sections is the perfect way to purchase your favourites for a fraction of the price.’

Haggle for some bargains

Wendy Yates suggested looking in the less obvious places for plants. ‘Go to local boot sales or markets where local people will sell young plants they have grown. Plus, check the cheap and reduced sections in places like B&Q.

Kaylie Rose added: ‘Try finding allotment plot holders. They will often give away plants for free or only ask for a small donation.’

Carl suggested: ‘Look online as there are places which give free plants away and only charge postage. Plenty of garden suppliers promote themselves with cheap plants.’

John said that timing makes a big difference. ‘I suggest going to garden centres in late January or February. It’s just after Christmas, and before the new stock for spring arrives. Low footfall and bargains to be had.’

Grab some cheap herbs

Lorraine offered a trick for saving money on herbs: ‘Herb plants cost a fortune in garden centres, get the potted herbs in Aldi or Lidl and plant them out.’

Mandy Hereford agreed: ‘I did this, they were tiny little things when I bought them and now they’ve gone crazy in my window box!’

It’s not always about the plants

Tara Burns likes to consider the bigger picture: ‘Paint the fences - it immediately improves the look of the garden.’

Sarah Winter also uses this approach: ‘It really does, I paint my fences and posts every year.’

Tom said: ‘B&Q and Wilko are just a few of the great options out there for fence paint. Take your time and apply several layers to build up a solid, professional look.’

Timing is everything

Wendy had some words of caution about when in the year to get planting. ‘If you want summer bedding plants then be careful not to plant them out until the end of May, as if we get a late frost it will kill them.’

‘The younger the plant, the cheaper you will pay, but cheapest of all is growing your own from seeds or cuttings.’

Lorna Smith added: ‘When growing seeds, leave them out on the windowsill to begin with, and plant them out once the frost has passed and the weather gets warmer.’

Carl had some parting words of wisdom: ‘Buy bulbs early in the season and plant in the spring.’

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons

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