I have made no secret of the fact I love to grow my own veg and I have made no secret of the fact that money is very tight around these parts, so how do you fill your garden with loveliness without spending a fortune in the garden centre ?
So here are my 6 Great, Frugal Gardening tips
1. Free Seeds – What ?! people will give you sees for nothing ? Yes,that is right currently, Heinz are doing a promotion in the UK and Ireland where you can win free tomato seeds – mine arrived the other day.
All you have to do is follow the instructions here and hopefully you will have seedlings like this in a few weeks.
Another company doing this is Quickcrop – they are Irish and I love their site (no I am not affiliated with them, just a fan ) If you sign up for their newsletter they send you Oriental Salad seeds, ours grew like wildfire last year and were great in salads.
2. Try a Seed swap – if there are a few of your friends or family growing veg this year why not host a Seed Swap – no one who grows vegetables at home need 100 tomato plants or 50 Brussel Sprouts, if you have leftover seeds why not swap them with a friend for a new variety. I got the most amazing seeds from my brother of unusual colour veg and gladly shared them with a friend of ours who is getting started, admittedly I ended up with trout in this swap rather than seeds but it was gorgeous for dinner.
3. I have already talked about growing from scraps here in this post. It really can save the pennies, theses are the garlic plants I started a month ago , they are growing amazingly well and I should get four bulbs of garlic all from a leftover bulb in the fridge.
The scallions and lettuce are also doing well if I can keep them safe against the many slugs in my garden. Slug Wars continues, read here if you want to check out my battle against the slime.
4. Get plants that are being gotten rid of – a lot of supermarkets do special offers of plants at this time of year. Aldi and Lidl do veg and herb packs but they haven’t the facilities to keep them watered so after a few days things look decidedly wilted and past their best and then the supermarket slashes the price to shift them. I got this pack of six herbs last week for half price,some of the specimens in the shop were beyond saving but some were fine with a bit of water and TLC so I was careful and picked the best looking.
5.Make your own garden labels – it is so easy to do and there are so many lovely examples around the internet. I used old lolly sticks,having a weakness for Real Fruit Splits I have collected a few. Paint them with chalk paint and stamp or write on your plant names and then varnish them with outdoor varnish and you have lovely labels to help identify plants and make the garden pretty.
6. Make your own compost – Start with a bare patch of soil , this is so worms and things can get into your pile and do their job as only they can. Then put a layer of twigs and Straw next this helps to keep the pile aerated ,then start adding Veg scraps and grass clippings and eggs shells and old teabags and old plant clippings and interlayer it with dry materials like straw and sawdust pellets ( I use the rabbits old bedding), newspaper, cardboard . Just don’t add meat scraps it attracts vermin and don’t add diseased plants. Cover the pile with plastic to keep it warm and not too wet and turn over with a fork every couple of weeks, to get lovely compost next year. Get My Free 50 things you can Compost Printable HERE
Hope these tips help you get started and if you want any seeds and are in Ireland let me know and you can find all of my gardening posts here