Your garden is one of the best ways to observe and enjoy nature while keeping you active and providing an oasis of tranquility in which to relax and unwind. Such a blessing often comes at a hefty price tag, but you can practice thrifty garden care with a little thought and a few helpful tips. Many simple steps can be taken to keep costs down and here are a few to help you do just that, without losing out on good lawn care and effective garden management.
Tip # 1 – perennials
Annuals bring a touch of color to flower beds and planters, but they are short-lived and require replacement year after year. By choosing alternatives from the wide range of equally vibrant perennials, you will enjoy plants that can live for many years. Consider drought resistant varieties that will reduce excessive water use and save you even more money.
Tip # 2 – Adjust your mower
Raising the cutting height of the machine to move the lawn to three to four inches during the summer months will protect the roots from the sun and keep them cooler to retain moisture. A healthy, vigorous grass crop will reduce scorching and prevent weeds from taking root. Help the process and replace the nutrients in the soil by leaving the grass clippings on your lawn. It will decrease the need for irrigation and fertilization and reduce the cost of disposal or dumping of landscape debris.
Tip # 3 – Lawns and Soils
A slow-release fertilizer applied to your lawn once a year during the fall is sufficient for most gardens. To prevent the application from being washed off or removed, it is best carried out when the soil is damp and then lightly watered. This will save having to put more fertilizer.
In good, nutritious soil, some of your plants may need little or no fertilizer. Too much nitrogen and other fertilizing ingredients can damage or kill your lawn or garden plants, so use sparingly and based on individual plant requirements. Use compost food scraps and yard clippings to provide cheap and beneficial additives for your lawn and herbaceous borders to save more money
Tip # 4 – Make your own pesticides
Consider using natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. Used improperly, pesticides can pollute water and kill both helpful and harmful insects. Non-detergent soaps, hot pepper sprays, used dish water, or 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water will act as a detergent for pests.
There are many attractive plants that repel insects naturally. Pop marigolds into your flower beds to keep beetles at bay, while mint, garlic, and chives discourage aphids.
All of this will save you money on expensive pesticides that could harm your garden.
Tip # 5 – Use water wisely
Finally, use water wisely. Using water is one of the most expensive areas of garden maintenance. Check hoses and sprinklers for leaks and operate during the coolest part of the day to combat evaporation. Why not make use of what comes naturally by installing a barrel or similar container to collect rainwater that can be used freely at any time! Even bath water can be saved and used, thus saving considerable sums of money each year.