Plants and produce for free

Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep updating your garden each year without spending money on plants, or have a vegetable patch that someone else maintains for free.

We have found it really hard to juggle the needs of two small children and do the gardening. We have done some bits to the gardens.  We are very lucky as we have a side garden directly outside our kitchen and we are using it to grow herbs, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, blueberries, pak choi, apples, plums and cherries.  However there is lots more space in it that we haven’t utilised fully.

In our back garden we have cleared out some areas where plants had got too big, or spread too far, but now we have lots of empty gaps with little time and money to fill them.

We also have a front garden which is overgrown with weeds, against which we are currently losing the battle.

Thinking about these problems from an ‘eco thrifty’ perspective quickly helped me come up with solutions that would never have previously occurred to me:
  1. Host a plant swap garden party (hopefully on a nice sunny day).  Invite friends, family and neighbours to bring unwanted plants or spare cuttings to your garden.  Provide some snacks and drinks and let the plant swap commence.  I would probably limit the number of plants brought by each person and would consider implementing a token system to ensure the swapping is done fairly.  People could also bring seeds, gardening equipment, books, pots and other garden related items.  If it is successful make it an annual event.
  2. Share your garden with someone who doesn’t have one.  This scheme in Brighton  for example www.growyourneighboursown.org.uk connects people with gardens to people who want to grow their own food, but don’t have gardens.  You allow someone else to grow fruit and vegetables in your garden and then share the harvest with them.  Under this scheme, you have control over how often and when they are allowed to visit the garden.  If you don’t want them to access your back garden, what about using your front garden to grow fruit and veg.
  3. Ask for help.  Get family and friends to come and help with the gardening and repay them with food and/ or a returned favour.

What are your savvy money saving eco -friendly gardening tips? I need all the help and suggestions I can get with my garden!

3 thoughts on “Plants and produce for free

  • I stumbled upon your post while looking for stories of people trying to spend less in gardening. I hope to read the result of your experiences soon. I don't live in the UK but the site you mention to share a garden is a great idea too, something I will certainly re-blog.

    You may be interested later by what I'm trying to create too on my side to cut spendings. This is called PlantCatching and you can get an idea at plantcatching.com

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