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Frugal Gardening

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 17 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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For some people the idea of the word ‘frugal’ might seem to indicate that someone is a bit tight with their cash and simply want to do everything on the cheap. However, whilst this may be true in some cases, the frugal gardener is more to do with the satisfaction they derive from creating a garden using the most natural tools and resources available to them whilst, simultaneously, keeping their impact upon the environment to a minimum.

It’s not a new concept, however, remember Tom and Barbara in the popular 70s sitcom, ‘The Good Life’? Well, frugal gardening is all about the concept of keeping things simple whilst still maintaining a good quality of life.

There are many ways to cut costs in the garden yet still get the result you are after. Remember, a garden is mostly about growing things and growing is a completely natural phenomenon and costs nothing. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to adopt a similar mindset in your approach to gardening?

Here are a few ideas which you might consider in your quest to keep gardening as ‘natural’ as possible.

Things You Can do to Keep Costs Down

Don’t Throw out the Coffee Grounds.
They contain many natural minerals and low levels of potassium and nitrogen which are all key ingredients to healthy soil.

Spot Cuttings
If you spot a flower or plant that you like, maybe at a friend’s house, ask them if you can take a cutting as opposed to spending money on a new plant.

Keeping the Pests Away from Your Vegetable Patch
Although this doesn’t require the use of pesticides which can not only be expensive but can be unhealthy too. Instead, plant a few marigolds in the patch. They will attract insects who like to eat other pests.

If you want stronger pest control, some washing up liquid mixed with water is cheaper, safer and less harmful to the environment than pesticides.

Don’t Waste Water Unnecessarily
It’s not only a precious resource but a good drenching less often will prove to be far cheaper and more productive than a light sprinkling every day. And, whilst we’re on the subject of water, use recycled water where possible. Plants will not object to old bathwater being used on them and it’s quite simple to collect rainfall which is, after all, their most natural water source.

Make Your Own Compost
By doing so you can help the environment and your garden at the same time. A lot of foodstuffs you’d generally put in the household bin can be used to make compost and there are some suggestions as to what you can incorporate into a compost on other articles contained on this website.

Grow Your Own Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs Organically
Not only will your garden smell nice but home-grown produce tastes better than that bought from a supermarket, it’s healthier and, what’s more, it’s cheaper too.

Use your creativity. Why spend money on plant pots and containers when you can use things like an old wheelbarrow, old boots, old children’s toy cars or dolls houses and discarded baskets in which to plant. Not only will you save money, your garden will have more character too.

And don’t forget the clip clop of nearby hooves. That means horses are about which, as we all know, is the ideal place to find fertilizer in the form of manure. Keep a bucket and spade handy!

There are many things you can do to make gardening less expensive. It’s simply about being creative and resourceful. It doesn’t matter what your motivations are for doing things on the cheap. Whatever the reason, it will demonstrate that you have a healthy respect for your environment whilst giving your garden character at the same time and, surely, that has to be what gardening is about.

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