Looking for an escape that doesn’t involve leaving your home? Whether you have a balcony, a patch of grass outside your backdoor or a suburban-sized garden, here are some budget-friendly, home-gardening tricks to help you transform it into a space where you can relax or entertain your family.
Find your spot
If you don’t have plenty of space but would like a garden area, you can still work with what you have to create a lovely spot. You could grow a garden that runs along the perimeter of your house. If you have a flat with a balcony, you could plant a vertical garden and if you don’t have an outdoor spot, you could use plants in pots or woven baskets to brighten up your home. Your kitchen is an ideal place for herbs, which you can place on windowsills. And, of course, if you have more than enough room outside, go wild!
If you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetable garden, start with radishes, beans, lettuce, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums, peas, rocket, beetroot and Asian greens like mizuna and pak choi. They are generally affordable and grow easily.
To protect your young seedlings from birds, use protective netting, and keep snails away by surrounding your seedlings with crushed eggshells or seashells.
Instead of buying seeds, you can also save the waste from fruit and veggies and grow new plants from their seeds or cut-offs. Good options include celery, herbs, peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
Upcycle for containers
Before heading to the shops for containers, look around your home first. When choosing items, bear in mind that you’ll need to be able to drill holes on the bottom for drainage. Baskets, wheelbarrows, pots and tins are great options for plant containers that you can clean up and decorate. You can give older items a facelift with a lick of paint. Look for inspiration on online platforms, such as Pinterest, which provide a wealth of decorating ideas.
Make your own compost
The bigger your garden space is, the pricier compost will be. Make your own compost by using your kitchen and garden waste. To get started, choose a spot outside and layer some twigs and small branches. Next, layer green waste on top (fruit and veggie scraps or garden clippings) and then layer with brown waste (dry leaves and twigs). You only need these three main layers, but if you need more compost, ensure you have more brown layers, and keep the heap moist to speed up the process. You should have a crumbly compost in a few months. Watch this easy tutorial on how to make your own compost: https://bit.ly/32eQmRj
Harvest your rainwater
Install a rainwater tank to save on water bills. Irrigate your garden with your tank by attaching a hosepipe to it or by hooking it up to your irrigation system. You can also leave buckets and containers under a rainwater pipe when it rains and use the collected water to water your plants.
Hang some bird feeders
The sound of birds happily chirping is soothing, so welcome them to your garden with a bird feeder or birdbath. Wash out old tins and paint them. Fill them with birdseed and then hang them in your garden. You can also attract feathered friends by planting indigenous shrubs such as aloes, Cape honeysuckle, Bushman’s poison, cross-berry and lion’s ear.
For more tips on creating your dream garden, book a consultation with a garden expert at your nearest garden centre.