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    • RAS
    • By RAS 21st Aug 12, 6:17 PM
    • 27,996 Posts
    • 48,414 Thanks
    RAS
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 12, 6:17 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 12, 6:17 PM
    1. Most packets contain far more seeds than you need. You do not need to sow them all or sow them all this year. You can split a packet of lettuce (1000 -2000 seeds) with a friend or 10 or sow them over the next three years and still share the cost with a friend or two.
    2. Learn how to save seeds of tomatoes, peas and French beans as they all come true. You can even save tomato seeds and cook the rest. This saves you loads of money every year.
    3.Plan your space - even if it is only a tiny one - to minimise the cost by being realistic about how much seed you need and maximise the output.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • lozza1985
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 12, 8:00 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 12, 8:00 PM
    I think the best thing I've discovered since I got my own garden - asking relatives for unwanted plants - as things grow and they need splitting then it means you gain new plants to help build your garden, mine had just grass and 3 shrubs when I moved in but it's now pretty full and hasn't cost me too much.

    Also, making your own compost. It's a lot easier than I thought, and is really helping to improve the soil as I'm on heavy clay, and it's just made from all the waste that would have gone in the brown wheelie bin otherwise.
    Avon Lady since 2009 - I help on the Avon hints & tips thread to help other reps/new sales leaders as I was helped so much by it when I first started out
  • Leif
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 12, 8:59 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 12, 8:59 PM
    I like growing things which are costly or go off quickly. Mange tout is easy, tomatoes are easy, and I grow species of chilli I cannot buy such as Rocoto. I tried Rocket this year but it failed due to the weather! The easiest thing in the world to grow, and so expensive in the shops ... Herbs are good. Cost a fortune in the shops and you only need a little bit. And the insects like them too.
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 21st Aug 12, 9:09 PM
    • 5,243 Posts
    • 6,638 Thanks
    A. Badger
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:09 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:09 PM
    I'm afraid I really think the whole notion of 'saving money' by gardening is almost always misplaced. A few items are cost-effective (at random, blueberries, French beans, anything 'out of season') but for the most part a serious analysis of the money spent on seeds, plants, materials, fertilisers, pesticides (if used) and the incalculable hours spent doing it suggests that it is usually far cheaper to let the farmer do it for you.

    What you do gain is greater variety, fresher produce, healthy activity and tremendous satisfaction.
    Last edited by A. Badger; 21-08-2012 at 9:34 PM.
  • gazza975526570
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:28 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:28 PM
    I'm afraid I really think the whole notion of 'saving money' by gardening is almost always misplaced. A few items are cost-effective (at random, blueberries, French beans, anything 'out of season') but for the most part a serious analysis of the money spent on seeds, plants, materials, fertilisers, pesticides if used) and the incalculable hours spent doing it suggests that it is usually far cheaper to let the farmer do it for you.

    What you do gain is greater variety, fresher produce, healthy activity and tremendous satisfaction.
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    Some things are certainly more expensive and if your doing it for the money not really worth the hassle though i suspect most dont do it for the money.

    Other things to add tot he list of being worthwhile:
    Runner beans
    courgettes
    Strawberries
    Rhubarb (How much in the supermarkets for a few?!?!??!)
    mangetout
    spring onions
    salad crops
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 21st Aug 12, 9:59 PM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 12,694 Thanks
    tgroom57
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:59 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 12, 9:59 PM
    Redcurrants and white currants are very easy to grow and crop well, neither need full sun. Redcurrants can be used for making jam to help it set, eg strawberry jam.

    My best crop is from local hedgerows - mostly blackberries (2010 70; 2011 50; 2012 1st week 9) and apples- our local Asda very kindly planted several apple trees by the bus stop and they cropped heavily last year.

    PS you might want to check their maths ! >> http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=274699369

  • mansars
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 12, 10:01 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 12, 10:01 PM
    I'm afraid I really think the whole notion of 'saving money' by gardening is almost always misplaced. A few items are cost-effective (at random, blueberries, French beans, anything 'out of season') but for the most part a serious analysis of the money spent on seeds, plants, materials, fertilisers, pesticides (if used) and the incalculable hours spent doing it suggests that it is usually far cheaper to let the farmer do it for you.

    What you do gain is greater variety, fresher produce, healthy activity and tremendous satisfaction.
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    I agree with you on the actual cost savings... However, the last two things you mention are worth far more than the money spent in my opinion.

    Some thing I do are.

    Make your own compost... Or get some from your local council dump.
    Plan your garden wisely & make the most use of space/sun possible..... I bought 16 stacking pots from a boot sale, cut a 3 inch whole in the centre & stacked them Dow over my clothes pole to grow herbs, onions & strawberries in. I also have tayberries & various trees growing in fan or espalier shapes against the fences.

    I also take a look round the DIY stores for plants on a Monday, as they generally try and reduce this stock to get rid before the next weekends stock arrives.... After the may bank holiday I got strawberry, pepper, tomato, raspberry, tayberries, carrot, lettuce & rhubarb plants for under 20 in total.
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 21st Aug 12, 10:25 PM
    • 5,243 Posts
    • 6,638 Thanks
    A. Badger
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 12, 10:25 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 12, 10:25 PM
    Redcurrants and white currants are very easy to grow and crop well, neither need full sun. Redcurrants can be used for making jam to help it set, eg strawberry jam.

    My best crop is from local hedgerows - mostly blackberries (2010 70; 2011 50; 2012 1st week 9) and apples- our local Asda very kindly planted several apple trees by the bus stop and they cropped heavily last year.

    PS you might want to check their maths ! >> http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=274699369
    Originally posted by tgroom57
    Your comment about hedgerows reminds me of an amusing story I was told in one of the local farm shops.

    The owner told me that he would frequently get customers asking him if he had any blackberries. He would frown, raise a finger and point to the hedgerows across the lane which were bursting with them - for free.

    What is truly disturbing is that apparently a number of customers still didn't 'get it'!
    • grrmich
    • By grrmich 21st Aug 12, 10:34 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    grrmich
    1. Check to see if your local council offers free/ cheap compost at recycling centres or refuse tips.
    2. Grow your plants from seed if possible. I use pots/ reuse polystyrene trays from garden centres to save space until there is a space ready for them.
    3. Save seeds where possible e.g. french beans, lettuce, cosmos, love in a mist.
    4. Buy a couple of strawberry plants, and make new ones from the "runners" the plants send out after fruiting. Plants crop well for around 3 years.
    5. Make your own compost. Add your shreaded bills/ newspapers etc
    6. Make your own liquid feed by either growing comfry, collecting the leaves, or collecting the leaves of nettles before they flower. Put the leaves in a bucket, add water and cover as the liquid will start to smell pretty foul. After a few weeks you can dilute the mixture with water and apply to plants. You can do the same with annual weeds but definately not perineiel.
    7. Keep an eye out for skips and discarded but useful rubbish. e.g. bits of wood for raised beds, bricks for weighing down netting and fleece, and my favourite-divan bed bases. When you remove the material, the wooden base makes an excellent frame to cover with netting and protect cabbages. Just paint with a little wood treatment.
    8. Make sure you clean your tools after every use to make them last longer.
    9. In late spring, collect fallen branches under trees to use as pea sticks for peas, mange tout and dwarf bean plants.
    10. Sow a small section of salad leaves every 2-3 weeks to ensure a continuous supply (at 1.50 a bag in the supermarket makes it a very cost efficient way of filling up on salad)
    11. Collect net packaging from fruit bought in shops to store fruit in.
    12. Make chutneys/ jams from surplus crops, making sure to use recycled jars.
    13. Use toilet rolls to grow seeds in instead of pots
    14. In autumn, collect fallen leaves, and put into a special bag, or home made chicken wire cage. It will decompose and turn into leafmould which is excellent to add to your soil.
    15. Try to find some stables that are happy for you to collect manure for free so you don't have to pay for it.
    16. Try to share seeds and plants with friends/ family/ fellow allotmenteers.
    17. Sign up to seed companys web newsletters so you can catch bargains.
    18. Use large water bottles with the bottoms cut off as cloches over baby plants.
    19. When using garden string, tie in a bow so when it's no longer required, you can untie it and save it for next year.
  • valk_scot
    Make as much compost as you possibly can. Everything from used tea bags and other kitchen waste to lawn clippings to shredded newspaper and the sweepings from the rabbit cage can go into compost, the average family can easily fill five or six of these big green bins every year.

    Keep your eyes open for free landscaping materials from Freecycle, skips (ask first) and your neighbour's attic conversion to build beds and garden structures rather than spending a fortune on dinky little kits for beds etc.

    Propagate your own plants...strawberries from runners, fruit bushes from cuttings and rhubarb and comfrey from crowns and offshoots, for example. Save seeds too, and swap with other gardeners to get a wider range of plants.

    Sow your own seeds! Twelve young cabbage plants raised from seed in old yoghurt pots cost very little, to buy the same in the shops wold be three or four pounds.

    Churches and horticultural societies often have plant sales as a fund raiser, you can get some lovely specimans there for very little.

    Look out for cheap plants at the big garden centres reduced to clear sections, ditto supermarket plants. They usually only need a bit of extra water and they're fine.

    shops and Lidl/Aldi are a good source of cheap basic seeds and small bare rooted bush plants. For fruit trees though live ones in pots are a better buy, or buy bare rooted trees from a good nursery supplier.
    Val.
  • Leif
    I'm afraid I really think the whole notion of 'saving money' by gardening is almost always misplaced. A few items are cost-effective (at random, blueberries, French beans, anything 'out of season') but for the most part a serious analysis of the money spent on seeds, plants, materials, fertilisers, pesticides (if used) and the incalculable hours spent doing it suggests that it is usually far cheaper to let the farmer do it for you.
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    I do disagree with that. It might be true of veg such as onions and carrots, which are cheap to buy, but rocket costs a fortune, good chillis (fresh Habaneros say) cost a fortune, rhubarb costs a lot, and mangetout are expensive. It cost me very little to grow most of these things. Some of my chilli planters are more than 10 years old, and I bought some from the local tip for 10p each. My tomato fertiliser lasts years, and goes on many plants. Mange tout just goes into the soil, with a few bamboo canes found stuffed above the patio ceiling. I was suspicious of home grown tomatoes, but mine are nicer than bought. Rather than buy a punnet, and sometimes they lack flavour, and they go off unless I eat them soon, I can pick a few when I want. Strawberries are cheap once you have a few plants, although they do seem to be a bit of a pain to look after. Of course I have spent some money on some nice plots, but that is because they are decorative items, so not really fair to add this to the cost of growing food, they are garden decoration.

    I have huge amounts of compost cooking, which will reduce costs further. (I've had too much green matter and have had to dump some at the tip.)

    My neighbour bought some potato seedlings cheap, and now has huge amounts of potatoes ready to pick soon.

    What you do gain is greater variety, fresher produce, healthy activity and tremendous satisfaction.
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    Definitely. I like being in the garden.
    • Syl
    • By Syl 22nd Aug 12, 8:46 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Syl
    make your food garden grow
    Growing food has so many benefits, not all money saving ones.
    It is great for your physical and mental health and a very useful skill to boot. I would say though that there are lots of ways to save money if you want to. Join your local horticultural society (I did and now I'm the secretary!!), there are often lectures or workshops which give you lots of tips and give you access to experts or just fellow gardeners.

    Concentrate your efforts on food that you will eat but never be afraid to try something new each year.

    Collect your own seed where you can - beans, peppers, tomatoes, chilies are particularly good. Swap seed with others to increase your range.

    Look after seed carefully. Keep them in a cool dark place to conserve viability. Some seeds have a very short shelf life (parsnips particularly) so if you can't use them all at once give them away while fresh.

    One of the cheapest places to buy seed is on ebay, there are several ebay shops that sell seed, they usually come in plain envelopes so no glossy pictures, the information you need is on the website.

    Don't worry if something doesn't grow one year, it may just be the weather, you might have better luck next time, persevere.

    Above all always remember the gardeners motto

    NEVER MIND - THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR
  • Hmm
    I grew up with a large veg garden and several fruit bushes, but I seem to have learned nothing!

    Now that I'm starting my own family I would really like to grow our own produce, but everything I bring into the house dies.

    The pattern seems to be that they get covered very quickly in little transparent to white-ish flies and then wither. Can anyone tell me what these beasts are and why they cover everything within a day or two of being brought into the house?

    I'd also really appreciate any advice on natural pesticides. I have read that you can use diluteed castille soap, but no details of how and the quantities. I'd like to keep things chemical free and old school.

    My goal is to be able to successfully grow a few things indoors (even the herbs are dropping dead) before investing in a larger plat in the garden.

    Any advice gratefully received :-)
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 22nd Aug 12, 9:26 AM
    • 5,735 Posts
    • 7,872 Thanks
    spadoosh
    7. Keep an eye out for skips and discarded but useful rubbish. e.g. bits of wood for raised beds, bricks for weighing down netting and fleece, and my favourite-divan bed bases. When you remove the material, the wooden base makes an excellent frame to cover with netting and protect cabbages. Just paint with a little wood treatment.
    .
    Originally posted by grrmich
    Awesome idea! Thank you! Just spent about 20 quid building a frame for my chicken run, couldve easily used a bed frame!!

    Will keep an eye out! Assume you could add polythene to harden any new plants aswell?! Forgotten the word but like a greenhouse.
    Don't be angry!
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 22nd Aug 12, 9:37 AM
    • 5,735 Posts
    • 7,872 Thanks
    spadoosh
    I grew up with a large veg garden and several fruit bushes, but I seem to have learned nothing!

    Now that I'm starting my own family I would really like to grow our own produce, but everything I bring into the house dies.

    The pattern seems to be that they get covered very quickly in little transparent to white-ish flies and then wither. Can anyone tell me what these beasts are and why they cover everything within a day or two of being brought into the house?

    I'd also really appreciate any advice on natural pesticides. I have read that you can use diluteed castille soap, but no details of how and the quantities. I'd like to keep things chemical free and old school.

    My goal is to be able to successfully grow a few things indoors (even the herbs are dropping dead) before investing in a larger plat in the garden.

    Any advice gratefully received :-)
    Originally posted by Hmm
    I could only assume the bugs are whitefly?! http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/whitefly-cid64.html?Aff=G010&gclid=CPjg7LPo-rECFeEntAodfAUAow theres a link to a few pest control methods, would do more research though!

    Herbs generally dont do too well indoors. They tend to be in a pot too small and are either allowed to grow to big killing most of the plant or growing too tall and flopping over. Especially the supermarket potted herbs, as far as im aware they rarely last over a month.

    What i would suggest doing is just growing them outdoors, theyll need very little care and attention and you open them up to wildlife defenses (other bugs and creatures will eat some bad bugs) obviously its true the other way slugs (especially this year grrrr!!!) will be a problem but easily over come with pots and copper tape. When it comes to late autumn/winter take a cutting/split from your herbs bringing it indoors and you should be able to make it last till the outdoors herbs come back again.
    Don't be angry!
  • Sulevia
    I have only pots and no-where to make compost but I save tea bags and make a jug of 'second-hand' tea, let it cool and then water the pots with it, free fertiliser.

    I have a big tub which I use for potatoes but I don't buy seed potatoes, too many in the bag for me. I simply use a few regular potatoes that have started to sprout. Ok the yield may not be as great but at least I get a good big bag full of new potatoes which are often so expensive to buy.
    • nephilim
    • By nephilim 22nd Aug 12, 9:59 AM
    • 231 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    nephilim
    In my area we have a wide assortment of fruit bushes and hedges. I rang the council and asked if I could dig one up that was small and plant it in my garden as they always cut them so the fruit doesn't flower much.

    They said yes, as such this year my crop has included Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Loganberries, Tayberries, and Gooseberries.

    Ask the council if you can remove 1 bush of each type from the area. I did and it seems to have had no adverse affect on the wildlife. I also teach my daughter about the fruits we are growing and as and when they are ready, we are freezing them so she can take them to nursery to share with other children.
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  • grahamji
    Freeeeze
    Many crops provide more than you can use at once but can be home frozen for later use .... good examples .runner beans ..... blackberries and sliced apples for pies (from hedgerows ) raspberries etc etc lay out on trays to freeze then bag them .... slice runner beans first
  • AlanW1980
    we've tried to grow a lot this year but get demoralised by the slugs! EVERYTHING gets eaten. What's everyone's favourite way of stopping the !!!!!!s?
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