Landscaping Tips On A Limited Budget

Woman in a garden

Spending time in your garden is one of life’s simplest and most affirming pleasures. But there’s no denying that designing, implementing and maintaining a desirable outdoor space can become a financial drain. When belts need tightening as your bank account falls into the red, gardens can quickly fall to rack and ruin.

But there are a host of ways to spruce up even the most unloved yard that needn’t cost the earth. In face, many methods of improvement require little more investment than your time and patience. The more people you involve, the merrier – what better excuse to revive the rusty barbecue than a mass landscaping party?

Even the smallest changes can make a big difference, so try a few of these spendthrift suggestions and reclaim your garden during the recession.

1. Small but powerful

A sizeable garden may be a dream come true. But then again, it is also considerably more expensive than a medium-sized one. If you’re finding that maintaining a big garden is not within your budget, do the sensible and reduce the space for flowers and plants by covering some areas up with easy-to-maintain stones. This will also save you time when landscaping in the weekends. If you need advice on how to create a lovely stepping-stone path in our yard, absolutely free, take a look at this highly recommended article on gardening from financial website Dollarstretcher.

2. Bookkeeping for gardeners

Due to the financial obligations connected with it, a garden is less like a hobby, but more like a full-time project. For this reason alone, you should treat it with the seriousness it requires and deserves. Keep book of your expenses for your garden and think about opening up a separate account for them – this doesn’t have to be, or perhaps shouldn’t even be, a regular current account, but can be a basic bank account ideal for reducing one’s debt and expenditure.

3. Clear the decks

Trimming, tidying, deadheading and sweeping all need doing, and preferably before you take any other action. A clear space will allow you to accurately assess what you’re working with. Have a look at soil types and areas of light and shade and choose accordingly.

4. Make it work for you

Consider your lifestyle. Do you need a family-friendly space where children and animals can tumble around without creating chaos? Or do you desire a zen-like space you’re happy to tend for hours on end? Perhaps garden that takes care of itself when you’re busy is more your style? What you may initially think of as ‘the perfect garden’ will end up being anything but, if it’s not perfect for your needs.

5. Freely inspired

Draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere- beautiful blogs, visits to local free-admission parks and gardens, period dramas and films, or even just poking around the gardens of people you know. When you’re raring to go, underpin your enthusiasm with expertise gleaned from garden centre factsheets, TV shows, free magazines, trustworthy online forums and the many books available at the local library.

6. Waste not

Poor quality soils will thank you for a good dose of quality compost, which you can create and maintain from the everyday food waste in your kitchen. Many local authorities provide counter-top containers you can use to ferry kitchen scraps out to your main pile, which, when rotted down, is a free treat for the garden.

7. Deck out your deck for free

Check out websites which list unwanted goods, such as local FreeCycle networks or Freegle , where you can pick up anything from garden furniture and water features to power tools and equipment for absolutely nothing, providing you can arrange a pick-up.

8. A lick of paint

Garden fences and furniture come in such a narrow spectrum of colours – so don’t fret too much over making it all match. Instead, create your own custom colour palette. Buy an industrial-sized container of white emulsion and browse household paint ranges for those diminutive tester pots in a full spectrum of colours. Even a few pots mixed into the white yields a surprisingly dynamic hue. You can go as pale or bold as budget allows, but be sure to mix enough to complete the job, as colour-matching is a tricky business.

9. Inject Colour

Staring at a flowerbed studded with bright blooms lifts the spirits like nothing else. Don’t worry too much about sourcing specific varieties here – just have fun with a few supermarket and garden centre specimens whose appearance brings you the most joy. Sow with abandon and watch duller growing spaces light up with spots of colour. Keep it cheap and, if a plant doesn’t take, it’s a minor disappointment. If it thrives, however, garden life will be that little bit brighter.

10. Buy hardy

When it comes to the crops that you’re investing more cash on, there’s nothing worse than watching them wither at the first sign of a frost. Research notoriously robust, hardy varieties and use these to form a solid foundation for your space, rather than more fickle specimens which would leave the garden looking barren should they fail.

11. Get green fingered with sad specimens

Don’t bypass those sagging seedlings if they’re being sold off at a serious knock-down price. Take a really good look and consider whether they might be ripe for salvaging. With some careful tending, a good drink of water and a nourishing soil, many ailing plants can spring back to life.

12. Grow to eat

Growing edible crops is a canny move, helping you cut your food spend as you improve your garden. Choose fruit and veg varieties practically – olive trees may look fetching, but will provide little sustenance. Potatoes, pumpkins, lettuces and root veggies, on the other hand, are low maintenance and high yield. Be sure to pick things you won’t mind feasting on in times of glut- tomatoes, French beans and soft fruits are all good options that also look great.

These suggestions are, naturally, merely a point of departure. For further reference, gardening magazine Better Homes and Gardens offers plenty of useful ideas on how to stun your guests while remaining in the black.

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Reporting from London, William Masters has established himself as respected journalist for topics ranging from international economics and personal finance. To Masters, finance is like gardening, both dealing with how to make the most with limited means. In terms of banking, William recommends eccount money, a leader in the field of companies specialising in helping people with debt and improving their budget.






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Things To Consider Before Setting Up Your Home Garden

Having home grown vegetables is a nice perk. Not only are they delicious, and you are able to know exactly how they were grown, growing your own vegetables can help you live healthier and help keep your pocketbook a little fuller.

The idea of having a garden is commendable, but there are some things to consider before you get started on your home vegetable garden. By thinking these things through ahead of time, you will be able to build, plant and grown a garden that fits perfectly in your lifestyle.

1. Location
The first thing to consider is do you have a location for a garden? Do you have an area that the sun hits for at least six to eight hours a day? How much space is this area? It all matters, especially when you figure out what fruits and vegetables you want to grow.

2. Harvest
Once you decide on the location of your home garden, now is the time to figure out what you will grow. If you are limited in space, potatoes, tomatoes and other large plants may not be your best bet, but smaller crops of peppers and strawberries may workout just perfectly. Would you rather have a dense supply of one to two plants or a small wide variety of plants with just one or two of each? You will also need to consider how you will plant your garden. If you have large plants in front of small plants, they may cast shadow and diminish the much needed sunlight for the smaller plants. There are also some plants that grow well near each other and vice versa – all things you should consider before planting.

3. Preparation
Before planting, it is a good idea to prep the soil and plan an irrigating system. Will you grow your fruits and vegetables organically? The richness of the soil will also help your plants. If you do not live in an area with good soil, you may have to purchase some. Either way, remember fruits and vegetables are best grown with a nutrient-rich soil and need plenty of water. Speaking of water – will you run a base line irrigation hose throughout your plants or simply run sprinklers? When planning your irrigation method, make sure you plan a way for the water to run off as well – plants do not do well if they are not drained properly.

4. Boarders
Adding a fence around your garden is a good idea to keep away critters who may want to harvest your garden before you are ready. By taking this extra precaution, you will be saving your hard work by keeping rabbits, raccoons and other animals out.

Now that you know what items you should consider before setting up your home garden, you can begin tackling these tasks and get your home prepped for a prosperous harvest come this summer. Happy growing!

Kathryn Thompson, health advocate and assistant to Susan Wright DVM who is the staff expert for Dog training Collars , devotes part of her time providing encouraging advice regarding life changes and healthy living that make a difference.

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How To Grow Your Own Carrots

It is much better to grow your own vegetables from home, not only do they taste much better, but they are also much cheaper and healthier. Once you start growing your own vegetables, you will never want to go back to buying them from supermarkets.

You shouldn’t worry about growing your own carrots from home as it is quite an easy and quick process, as long as you have a little time to prepare your carrot seeds and to plant them.

Step One

The first step to growing carrots is to sow the carrot seeds. This may sound a little complicated, but trust me, once you’ve got the hang of it, it won’t ever be a problem again.

You should first make sure that you are planting your carrot seeds at the right time of year, it should say on the back of the packet when it is the best time to plant them. Most varieties of carrots are usually planted in March, if you wanted to get a start on your vegetable growing earlier than this, you can buy the Scarlet Horn or Nantes variety which can be sown in as early as February.

Before you begin sowing your carrot seeds, you are going to need to prepare your soil. You should prepare quite a large patch of soil; to make sure that it is healthy for your carrots to grow in you should dig it up and remove any weeds, stones and debris.

Step Two

You are going to need quite a lot of space to sow in your carrot seeds, the soil also needs to be quite deep so that the carrots have plenty of room to grow.

You should sow the seeds directly into drills. You should aim to sow them half an inch deep and 15cm apart.

Step Three

You need to keep your carrots healthy and fresh; to do this you should water the compost on a regular basis. If you start to notice that your carrots are wilting, this means they are not getting enough water. Give them a good soaking and this should rescue your carrots from any problems.

Step Four

It will usually take around 12-16 weeks for your carrots to grow properly. Once you believe the carrots are big enough for your use, they are ready to harvest.

Before careful when you pull them out of the ground, if it is a little tough to pull them up you can use a fork to help break up the soil around them.

Jenny started growing vegetables from her home and has really enjoyed it. She gets all her gardening equipment from http://www.gardenhealth.com/

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