10 Tips For Home Gardening On A Budget, Because Building A Plant Oasis Doesn't Have To Cost The Earth
Home gardening is just about one of the most rewarding activities you can set your mind to. Not only does it make your little home look cute AF but it can also be a great aide for your mental health and an awesome purifier for the air in your home. The only thing is, though, it really can be an expensive activity. Real talk. Especially when it comes to all of the bits and bobs needed to get going. But worry thee not. As a perpetually skint individual, I can give you lots of tips for home gardening on a budget.
Like I said before, horticulture has long been known for its benefits to mental health and wellbeing. Can I get a hell yes for that? Oof, it just makes you want to go into your living room and high-five a monstera, doesn't it? However, what might momentarily stop you from high-fiving a plant, though, is how much the whole flipping palaver costs. And we all know being cost efficient in an age where nobody has much cash is low-key essential.
Just because you're a little less than rolling in it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the finer things. So enjoy these easy AF tips to maintain happy plants on a budget.
So, one of the main things I messed up with when I began really getting into home gardening was in regards to drainage. It's important that your plant pot has around one third of it as drainage. Drainage is usually suggested as being pebbles, stones, or broken plant pot. Thing is, though, generally if you don't have a garden you will have to go buy those things and they are not only costly but also heavy.
After feeling completely hopeless, I did a little digging and found out that drainage can be, well, pretty much anything.
I favoured the lighter options as I have to carry these pots up and down stairs. So guys, my larger plants have crushed old beer cans doing their drainage and the rest have packing peanuts. Yep, those annoying AF things that come in your delivery are useful for something.
If you have space, do what I have done and have a gardening cupboard with bits and bobs in so you are ready with all the things for your next repotting session.
2. Old Jars/Cans As Pots
OK this is Pinterest AF but you know what? Nothing will make you feel as smug as making a plant pot out of something that would otherwise go in the bin.
Not only is it a way to recycle but also, ceramic pots can be super expensive.
One tip I give people is to ask at your local eatery if they have any industrial-sized tins that are getting chucked out. Hammer a few holes in the bottom of these and paint them and say hello to your very own cute AF planter.
3. Propagation/Plant Exchange
Propagating is all about knowing when, where, and how to cut a piece from a plant to make more of them.
I personally favour the hydroponic method as its not only efficient but also looks absolutely smashing.
And, if you're looking for more tips, check out the guide below.
Root, Nurture, Grow: The Essential Guide To Propagating And Sharing Houseplants
If you're struggling with propagation, I suggest this super-user-friendly guide.
4. Old Coffee/Tea For Acid Lovers
Do you ever find yourself with lots of left over coffee at the end of the day? OK, me neither. But if you do, you could dilute it with water and use it to water your acid-loving plants such as bromeliad and cyclamens. However, certain rules apply when pouring coffee on plants, so make sure you swat up on the science surrounding this little gardening trick before you try it.
5. DIY Macramé
Do you ever swoon at those gorgeous macramé plant pot holders you see in posh hipster shops? Well, the thing is, they often are super expensive. Which would put anyone off.
However, making them yourself is so much easier than you might expect and a cheap and easy way to spruce up your houseplant game. It's also a great idea for gifts.
6. Getting Seeds From Food
Guys, this one is a more recent discovery for me and such a game changer. So, it turns out, some of the produce we're buying for our day-to-day meals are actually hiding secret seeds inside them you never knew you could plant yourself! Take, for example, an avocado or a mango. Both of which I recently propagated myself. It was a lengthly but super rewarding experience and all stuff that would normally go on the compost heap!
7. Re-using Food Waste In Your Soil
A lot of people don't have the space for a proper compost heap, but why not add old banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea leaves, and so on (I could go on and on) to your soil mix? When you are repotting a plant just chuck them in with the soil and watch your plant grow strong from the nourishment.
8. Recycle Cooking Water
I heard this first on an IKEA advert and have resolutely stuck to it ever since. Basically, when you boil and egg, the water it's boiled in becomes filled with nutrients and minerals and is perfect to feed your plants.
Obviously, let it cool first.
9. Start A Plant Club
This one is a bit off piste but bear with me. If you try and organise a little group of you and your pals to get together and talk all things plants only good things can happen.
It is perfect to exchange tips, tricks, clippings, have a natter and a catch up. I started one myself and it's been a rip roaring success.
10. Charity Shopping For Books, Stands & Pots
I have been frequenting charity shops for years and they are my actual happy place.
If you check out your local charity shop, you'll be amazed with what you might find. From books, to plant pots, to the 1970s plant stand of your dreams. It's all there for you. Go get it.
No matter what your budget, there is no reason you can't turn your home into your very own oasis.