Bedding plants in an old metal drum

Best Ways To Save Money In The Garden; 30 Top Tips

Saving money on little things means affording that extra special plant


1.   Use egg cartons for sowing seeds or make pots out of newspaper,
2.   Use the middle out of toilet rolls or kitchen rolls to plant sweet pea seeds.
3.   Grow salad leaves all the year round on a warm sunny windowsill; much cheaper than buying them from the supermarket. Some varieties to try are: Colourfully Mild Mix, Speedy Mix or Fancy Summer Mix.
4.   Go for a walk in the countryside and collect twigs to use as pea and bean supports; and as a bonus you keep fit!
5.   Grow the vegetables or fruit which are expensive to buy in the supermarket.
6.   Store onions in old tights, tying a knot between each onion.
7.   Use the mesh bags from oranges to store spring bulbs, hang up to allow air circulation and to keep out of the reach of mice.
8.   Pack polystyrene into the bottom of large pots and containers containing annuals; leave approximately 30cm (1’) at the top. It saves money on compost (annuals don’t need a great depth of compost), aids drainage and makes them lighter to move. If you live in an area prone to burglaries use bricks or rubble instead.
9.   Visit school fairs, car boot sales and jumble sales to pick up bargain plants.
10. When buying perennials; if you have a small space to fill just buy a small plant as it will soon grow. If you have a large space buy a large plant that can be split.
11. If you are on a water meter install water butts and /or a drip irrigation system. This saves money ensuring there is no wasted water and the plants don’t suffer through drying out.
12. Use the plastic punnets that fruit comes in from the supermarket as seed trays.
13. Join a garden club and swap plants and seed.
14. Make your own compost.

Compost bin in a corner of the garden

15. Use ice lolly sticks as plant labels.
16. Grow from seed instead of buying established plants.
17. Split established plants and either use in your own garden or take to a car boot sale.
18. Collect seed in the autumn.
19. Club together with other gardeners and buy items such as bulbs in bulk.
20. Keep an eye out for end of season bargains in garden centres; spring bulbs in winter, summer bulbs and potatoes in late spring and look for damaged plants in the sick bay.
21. Visit Open Gardens under the National Garden Scheme, they usually have plants for sale.
22. Look on Freecycle for tools and equipment.
23. Grow vegetables in old compost bags.
24. Use your imagination to recycle old items: pallets to make compost bins or raised beds (watch out for splinters!),old colanders to make hanging baskets, old boots and wellies as containers for bedding plants, drainpipes painted and grouped together with a plant in a pot in the top to make a garden feature.
25. Pester greengrocers and market stall holders for old wooden crates; they make good containers for growing salad crops.
26. Use crushed eggshells around pots to deter slugs.
27. Use empty 2ltr plastic bottles with the bottom cut off to make mini-cloches. Leave the cap off otherwise condensation can build up and cause the plant to rot.
28. Place half an orange skin, cut side down, to collect slugs. Collect and dispose of the slugs in the morning.
29. Keep chickens to keep slugs down in summer; keep them penned in spring as they also love fresh tender shoots! There is also the bonus of fresh eggs.
30. Only grow hardy plants which are not likely to be lost in winter.

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas