If you’re anything like us, you’re already looking forward to next spring. While it’s nice to have some time off, spring is the time that gardeners can really get cracking with what’s to be done – you might even be thinking about new garden projects now. The problem at the moment is how to upgrade – or even maintain – your outdoor space without spending a fortune. We’ve put together some ideas for budget-friendly garden projects to help keep your garden beautiful.
Furnish your dreams
Garden furniture is expensive to replace, so it’s well worth refurbishing your existing table and chairs. Restoration methods vary depending on what material your furniture is made of. For wood, this could consist of a rub down with sandpaper and a coat of paint or teak oil. For stained plastic chairs, try rubbing stains with Cif or dabbing vinegar onto the stain, leaving for 10 minutes and rinsing off. For metal, remove any rust with emery paper and paint with rust-resistant paint.
Take pot luck
If you’ve still got the paint out, it’s time to get creative! If you have small amounts of paint leftover from other projects, you could try painting old plant pots to freshen them up a bit. Pots should be clean and dry before applying the paint.
Don’t stay on the fence
If your wooden fence is looking a bit worse for wear, it’s time to show it some TLC. Fences can be very expensive to replace, so a cheaper alternative is to only replace any sections or posts that are actually rotten and then treat the whole thing with a woodstain, either coloured or plain, to hide the difference between the old and new wood. You could also, if you’ve got into your stride, give it a coat or so of paint!
Make don’t buy
If you have a spare corner of your garden, then you can make your own compost from kitchen and garden scraps. The bin needs to be placed directly onto the soil, but you don’t need a specialist container – just use some old fence panels or leftover wood to make a robust box, ideally with a lid. Add in kitchen waste such as feel and vegetable peel and coffee grounds. You can also add small scraps of brown cardboard and pieces of kitchen roll. Depending on the size of your bin, you may also be able to add garden waste such as leaves.
Create your own seating
The same goes for making your own garden seating and accessories. If you need more places to sit and don’t have the budget to invest in new garden furniture, why not put your creative skills to good use and construct your own? Old wooden pallets or railway sleepers are a good starting point for making your own seating – see if you can pick some up at your local tip shop, ask if anyone has any wood going spare or buy a small amount of supplies from a builder’s merchant.
Grow your own
It’s too late for this season, but next year make a mental note to gather seeds from perennials and store them in the autumn, ready to grow your own young plants the following spring.
Make your own mulch
If you usually use mulch such as bark chippings to keep weeds down on flower beds, try making your own. Chopped up leaves and grass cuttings will be just as efficient at stopping unwanted weed growth – just top the layer up regularly as you work.
Make your plants work for you
Plant self-seeding perennials such as black-eyed Susan and cosmos, and they’ll keep the supply of plants happily topped up without you having to do anything. If it all gets a bit out of control, swap some young plants or seeds with friends and neighbours for variety.
Image by secondtruth/Pixabay
Use clever containers
Plant pots and bird feeders can be expensive, but you may be able to repurpose household items instead. Old wellies can become novelty planters, and odds and ends of kitchen crockery can double up as bird baths.
Be sale savvy
This is the time of year to visit your local garden centre and see if there are any bargains to be had! You can often find packets of bulbs on special offer, and you may be able to rescue some discounted plants as well.
Install a terrific trellis
Trellises are just frames for climbing plants, and once your plant really gets going it should hide the trellis anyway! Instead of buying a specially-made one, create your own with pretty much anything you have to hand. If you’re placing the trellis against a fence or wall, you can screw in rings and attach wire to make a frame. For standalone support for individual plants or pots, use bamboo canes, branches or willow wands held together with twine, or even repurpose some of your old fence posts.
Main image by congerdesign/Pixabay.