There’s no need to let a lack of dollars cramp your gardening style.
Gardening is great fun, keeps you active, and the end results can be very rewarding. It also need not cost the earth. Take an integrated approach following commonsense guidelines, add a little imagination and creativity, and your garden can be the envy of your family and friends.
Start by making the most of what you already have around the home. Fallen leaves, especially in autumn, make excellent mulch. Small leaves can be put straight onto garden beds, while large, thick leaves are best shredded by running the lawn mower over them. The leaf cover suppresses weed growth, helps with moisture retention and, over time, breaks down to provide added nutrients for your garden. Leaf litter is also a great addition to compost. Making compost at home is easy, economical and environmentally friendly. Less waste ends up in landfill, and your garden soil is enriched for little monetary cost. Compost can be spread on top of garden beds as a mulch layer, or dug in to improve your soil before planting.
The best compost is made from a balanced mix of ingredients including egg shells, vegetable and fruit scraps from the kitchen, shredded newspaper, lawn clippings, autumn leaves and garden prunings. There is a range of compost bins available including some suitable for small gardens. Alternatively, you can use a worm farm to compost kitchen scraps if space is limited. Worm castings make fabulous fertiliser for the garden or can be diluted in water to make liquid fertiliser. As well, in some areas councils manage green waste disposal in such a way that they can offer residents cheap mulch or compost for sale.
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