Winter is finally on its way out, which means that it’s the perfect time to get busy outside and prepare your garden for more sunshine ahead.
Whether you’re dreaming of a lawn full of flowers or a patch of land suitable for growing your very own produce, gardening is one of the most satisfying activities you can do for yourself and your home. And the best part is – it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do.
Ready your green thumbs, and read on for some cost-effective ways to prepare your garden for summer.
Choose plants wisely:
To be able to make the most of your available resources, it’s important to choose plants wisely. There are a variety of factors that you need to consider, such as the soil type, climate, shade, and garden size. For areas with water shortage problems, it might also be a good idea to invest in plants that won’t need too much water.
In their list of plants that provide value for money, Country Living Magazine recommends durable and inexpensive flowers like lavender and snapdragon, as well as shrubs like spiraea and yaupon holly. Even better, consider growing your own vegetables to help save on groceries down the road. Lettuce, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes can grow in your own back yard, and they have the added benefits of providing healthy food at a fraction of the cost that you pay in shopping centers.
If you’re looking to grow your own trees, sourwood and apple trees are beautiful additions to your gardens. As explained in a previous post here on God Only Knows News, it’s important to avoid invasive and impractical trees like the Chinese Elm and the Gum Tree, which can not only pose plumbing issues with their roots, but can also be safety hazards.
As with cooking tools, it’s important to maintain your garden tools well enough to be able to use them efficiently for as long as possible. Keep your pruning shears, shovels and other tools sharp, and remember to sand the handles down and rub with linseed oil to extend their lives. To make soil slip right off and give yourself an easier time shovelling, try spraying on a coat of silicone or Teflon lubricant on your trusted garden shovel.
When buying new tools, remember to match the tools with the amount of work you need to do. This practical mindset will help guide you in choosing from the many variations of gardening tools and machines. Take lawn mowers for example. Screwfix showcases an array of electric and manual lawnmowers, including everything from small push lawnmowers to heavy-duty ride-on units, all of which provide value for money. Simply put, a cheaper, budget-friendly lawn mower isn’t always the best choice down the road, especially when you’ll be doing heavy work in a large garden. In the same way, a fancy and high-powered lawn mower is not a good fit for a small vegetable garden.
Prepare your soil:
Good, healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. Taking the time to prepare your garden soil now is a great cost-effective investment for better gardening in the summer.
As soon as the weather permits, get outside and start weeding your garden to ensure that they won’t be there to antagonize your plants come summer. Keep an eye out for perennial weeds like thistle, nettle, and couch grass. Once you’re done weeding, the BBC recommends adding in compost to incorporate important nutrients into the soil. Your plants will thank you later.
Use what you have:
Finally, be creative with things around the house instead of splurging on expensive gardening tools and supplies. To maximize your water bill, for instance, save your cooking water after steaming or boiling vegetables and use it to water your plants when it cools. This, along with fish tank water, are both nutrient-rich water that can be free fertilizer for watering your plants.
Of course, not everyone can have the time to water their plants regularly. If you have sprinklers, make sure to calibrate the system to water your lawn at the optimum time and amount to conserve water and energy. If you don’t have sprinklers, drip irrigation systems are possible to make on your own with a variety of surprising materials, such as Lifehacker’s automatic plant watering system built from plastic bags and thread.
Did you like these gardening tips? You can also share your own in the comment section!