Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Tips to save money in the garden this summer

Garlic at rest

In the current economic climate it is sometimes hard to maintain a beautiful garden if you are working to a budget. If you don’t have the equipment, plants or fertilisers for the job, there are, as any experienced gardener will know, just a few tricks of the trade which will help keep your budget down.

Listen to the experts

Alan Titchmarsh advises any budding gardener to invest in the growing their own food, especially tomatoes.

Alan says:

“Church stalls, car boot sales and school fayres are all good places to find surplus plants being sold off cheaply.

“There are so many varieties out there it can be hard to pick just one, but good all-rounders are Gardeners Delight, Ailsa Craig, Cordiblue and Tumbling Tom. Keep them well watered and watch for the flowers – flowers mean fruit, and fruit means your saving has begun!”

In fact, a single tomato plant, if cared for properly, can produce up to 13kg of tomatoes per season.

Find the best stores or shops for big savings

As Alan said, car boot sales are great during the spring but there also a few shops on the British high street where you can find some of the best gardening deals around.

Stores such as Wilkinsons, Lidl, Aldi and even Poundland are likely to have the greatest prices and deals when it comes down to sundries and plants. If you look for a deal, you could get a packet of foxgloves for as little as 75p; offering around 30 plants per packet.

If you were to buy them just two months down the line for example, you would be looking at paying at least £2 a plant.

See what you can recycle

If you happen to be lacking shelves and cupboards in your greenhouse, see if you know any of your family, friends or neighbours are throwing out their kitchen any time in the future.

Rather than throwing a perfectly usable kitchen in the skip, there’s no reason why you can’t make use of it in your greenhouse.

If you really want to find a few free things for your greenhouse, then check out the Freecycle website where people give away (and receive) usable items from their hometowns.

Quality still matters

Even though saving money is the point of this piece, it is still important to remember that when it comes to the garden, quality matters.

Television presenter, Alys Fowler says:

“The only area where I rarely skimp is on good compost. I buy the best quality peat-free I can get.

“Buy cheap compost, and you often get rough material that is hard to start off seeds in and smells as if it’s still composting. Good compost is money well spent at the early stages.”

Alys also advises investing in a lawn mower that will make use of the grass clippings. A ‘mulcher’ mower will recycle the clippings on the lawn so that you won’t have to feed it with artificial fertilisers.