If you’re looking to take your garden to the next level, consider enhancing it by trying one or more of the time-tested low-cost ways we use when working on our client’s gardens.
Every gardener knows that the key to a beautiful garden is the soil – therefore you need to nurture it to enhance soil fertility and quality. Create a compost pile from the organic scraps all around you. Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves and shredded paper can all be used to create a compost heap to strengthen the soil with added nutrients. Avoid any treading where you intend to plant. This is done to hinder any compacting of the soil. Rather not work in your garden when the ground is wet as this destroys the structure of the soil as well as possibly turning it into a “mud brick” when it dries up.
For useful scraps, consider recycling the empty tin cans in the garage as flower pots. Anything that holds soil can be used as a planter, from tin cans to old tyres, shoes and even broken appliances. Apart from saving the environment, you’ll also find yourself with a really visually interesting landscape. So don’t throw out that old tub or paint container that you used to renovate the garage; use it to grow more plants for your garden or as low cost gift ideas!
3. LINE WITH NEWSPAPER
Some containers tend to dry out quickly in hot, dry weather. Placing three layers of newspaper before the soil is added will ensure that the plant can breathe, allowing for irrigation as well. The plant will still retain moisture in hot, dry conditions, and voila — you’ll have the best plants in the neighborhood! To ensure that the newspaper does not spoil the appearance of the exterior of the container, you can tuck the ends of the newspaper over the soil surface, and hide with standard mulching material.
4. SELF SEEDING
Another low cost way to improve your garden with a little less labour involved, is to plant seeds that grow themselves. Sunflowers, with their ‘Mongolian Giant’ presence, as well as their bright and beautiful colouring, are a prime example of plants that grow themselves. Sweet peas can also be used to trail through flowering shrubs, to offer wonderful floral combos or to bloom when the shrub is still growing. Self-seeding plants like these are not only low cost, but also take the hassle out of replanting new seeds the following season.
5. REUSE SEEDS
The modern way of farming is to buy new seeds from seed makers every season but it makes sense to reuse seeds of previous crops as an effective form of low cost gardening. This method has been used traditionally since the beginning of farming so it has been well tried and tested. If you grew a good crop last season, all the better!
6. SWAP SEEDS
An interesting garden always has a variety of plants, which can only be obtained by planting a multitude of seeds. This might seem like something expensive to do, but it’s actually quite cost-effective. One of the low cost ways to enhance your garden with plant variety is by swapping seeds with fellow gardeners or a neighbour. Not only does this contribute to a colourful landscape and beautiful garden, it also strengthens relations with the other gardeners! You’ll no longer have to throw out those seeds that are no longer useful for your garden. Now you can trade them for seeds that you actually need.
7. KNOW YOUR PLANTS
Make sure that you know all about your plants requirements so that you don’t plant them in the wrong position where they will suffer and you will eventually have to replace them. Save on money and time by familiarizing yourself with the seeds or plantlets before planting them. Get to know your garden conditions well and your plants will thrive.
8. PLAN YOUR GARDEN
We at Cape Contours Landscape Solutions, believe that a garden is a very personal expression of your own lifestyle and tastes. We are always ready to help you turn these into a reality with a customized design and professional installation. However, If you’d prefer to do it yourself at a lower cost, but are a bit overwhelmed by the sheer scope of what’s involved, we recommend dividing your garden up into small portions and tackling these one at a time, rather than trying to do it all at once. That way, if you do get stuck, you won’t have made an enormous mess that becomes too daunting to tackle. Doing small manageable chunks not only builds up your confidence but takes it easy on your budget too.
Do you have any great low-cost garden tips? Let us know, we would love to hear about it.