As if the stress and strain of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and facing the uncertainty were not enough to drive people to the brink, the spike in the cost of living now has most of us working more hours and looking for means to cut down on household expenditure. But, what happens when you add in the cost of being obsessed with gardening?
“A self-sufficient approach to gardening means a reduced monthly food bill.”
This notion and the financial stress have created a new generation of gardening enthusiasts.
Yes, gardening is a relaxing hobby, it has a myriad of health benefits, it can be done almost anywhere and it is cheap. However, gardening often comes with a price – the price of maintaining a large or overgrown garden, the price of specialized equipment, the price of horticultural plants and so on.
However, we have compiled a list of the ways you can carry out this simple practice without worrying about a hefty price tag.
Growing With Seeds
Buying trays of young transplants from home improvement stores, nurseries and garden centers can be expensive.
Usually, I prefer raising my own plants from seeds, heirloom seeds and I recommend the same to others. Of course, it’s riskier since you have to make sure they are a good match for the climate and growing zone. But, if you follow all the instructions on the back of the seed packet and if you take the advice of gardening experts, you won’t be disappointed.
Also, you’ll find the fanciest and healthiest plants with the most gorgeous leaves of white and pink in nurseries and garden centers because they are grown in a perfect environment; an environment tailored exactly to their needs for water, light and nutrients. However, once you bring these same beautiful plants at home, they will lose their luster. On the other hand, plants grown from seeds will adapt to the light, humidity and soil mixture from your environment.
My neighbor had a plant I wanted to grow in my garden. But, rather than asking him if I could take a cutting – all because of an old grudge – I bought the same plant at an expensive garden store. The result? Poor plant didn’t get to live that long!
You’ll be surprised at the success rate of cuttings. Plus, the cost is free. So, what do you need more?
A Few Seeds Will Do
Is it a norm for everyone to sow an entire packet of seed when all they need is a few seeds?
It’s not necessary to grow all the seeds of the packet; the surplus can be saved for next year.
Say “No” to Impulse Buying
The fronded fascination for gardening took root when people were stuck at home during the pandemic. The fear of food shortage has driven the interest of some in vegetable gardening while others have turned to gardening as a relaxing quarantine hobby. And, once things have gradually turned back to normal, people have started popping into the nearest garden stores and buying garden equipment on impulse.
Bulb planters, a zero turn mower, a weed puller, a ladder trellis and eye diverter bird repellents…these are unnecessary items that will only end up being dumped somewhere in your garden. This is a compulsive buying disorder. Your new gardening hobby, just like gambling, is creating this uncontrollable behavior in you and it is important to control it before you break your bank account.
Take Good Care of Your Garden and Gardening Equipment
When do you need to buy new garden equipment? When you haven’t looked after the last lot properly!
Your garden is not only your safe haven but is also a harsh space that regularly needs a bit of cleaning and maintenance. But, the more you neglect it, the more you will have to spend on garden maintenance.
The same goes for your gardening equipment and furniture.