After ordering a few plants or seeds a while ago from a few online fruit and veg merchants, I have been inundated with their glossy gardening catalogues ever since. At first I was quite excited to receive these in the post (sad heh!), and would spend hours trawling through them making mental lists and convincing myself that I just had to have certain piece of equipment otherwise my crops would suffer! After re-evaluating my original shopping list, these essential pieces of equipment were then whittled down to about half until eventually I completely talked myself out of all of the purchases.
Could I justify paying over £10 for a root trainer for my beans and sweetcorn when I know that cardboard kitchen rolls and loo roll tubes would do perfectly? Did I really need a poly tunnel when my 6×4 polycarbonate greenhouse, 2 tomato growhouses and 2 mini pop up greenhouses would suffice. The trouble is, it is so easy to convince yourself that you do need these items to grow the perfect fruit and veg when in fact most things that a plant needs to strive shouldn’t cost the earth.
You can get free manure from stables, make homemade compost made from kitchen scraps, collect the leaves during autumn for making perfect leaf mould, clear polythene bags, plastic bottles or clear plastic meat trays make ideal propagator lids, plastic cups or yoghurt pots are ideally suited for small plants, plastic mushroom trays make ideal seed trays as do the clear plastic meat trays.. The list of useful recycling bits and pieces in the garden is endless.
You don’t need to spend a fortune with all of the latest gizmo’s and gadgets. Just plan ahead and save most of the items that you would normally throw away in your weekly rubbish collection. Think outside the box, get creative and save a wad of cash at the same time.
Meanwhile, those glossy gardening catalogues that I have been accumulating at home have made a great activity for my younger daughter. She cut out all the lovely flowers and used decoupage to decorate a few empty biscuits tins which will grace our garden in the Spring with some lovely herb plants. Not only do they look great, they are bespoke to us and best of all they were free!