(Gloucestercitynews.net)(July 10, 2020)--Gardening is a fantastic hobby that is also extremely beneficial, especially if you’re growing food. It can become expensive if you are unsure of where to start, or don’t watch your spending. There is a slight investment involved when getting started, but it can be minimal if you know where to look and the right things to buy. By using these tips, you can fund your hobby without spending much at all:
Plant from seeds
While it can be tempting to take the easy way out and buy plants that are already fully developed, a little extra work goes a long way in saving you money. Some seed packets will come with up to 100 seeds, which means 100 potential plants. They are incredibly inexpensive, and you can save even more by buying seeds from large retailers like Blains Farm & Fleet and using Blains Farm Fleet coupons. When you purchase flowers that are already in bloom or small plants, you are also paying for the labor that went into growing them, which makes the price jump substantially.
Make your own compost
Purchasing fertilizers, potting mix, and compost can add up quickly financially but is necessary if you want your garden to thrive. By making your own compost, not only will you fertilize your garden for free, you will also have a place to get rid of food scraps and garden waste without sending it to landfill. It’s better for the environment and better for your wallet. You don’t need a ton of space to start a compost bin. You can get small compost bins that are about the size of a garbage can, with handles to rotate it. If you’ve got the space, you can always build a large compost box outside, or even have a compost pile.
Encourage beneficial insects to inhabit your garden
Instead of buying harsh insecticides to kill off pests in your garden, encourage beneficial insects to live there. Insects that benefit your garden will feed on the pests and are helpful pollinators, which will help your plants to grow.
Aim to include a variety of native plants in your garden to encourage native, beneficial insects. Often invasive species of insects are most likely to wreak havoc on your patio, and native insects will help control that population.
To encourage pollinators like bees, you need lots of nectar and pollen sources. Choose single flower plants that expose the pollen to attract bees to your garden more effectively. Remember that expensive insecticides not only kill off the pests but all the good guys too.
Choose perennials over annuals
When choosing the plants to put into your garden, pick perennials over annuals. Perennials, you only need to plant once, and they will continue to come back year after year, growing bigger each time. They often get so big that you can separate them and plant more elsewhere or give them to friends or family. Annuals will not come back the next season, so although they may look nice, you’ll have to repurchase each year.
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