Posted 22nd Jul 2016
Nothing beats relaxing in your own garden, especially now that the summer heatwave has well and truly arrived. However maintaining your garden can seem an expensive pursuit - lawns need attention, plants need watering and there's many a pesky insect buzzing around
1. Avoid the hose pipe
Did you know that for every ten minutes that the hosepipe is on for will approximately use 170 litres of water? That is equivalent to nearly 19 flushes of the toilet. And should you leave a hosepipe on for an hour, it will use the same amount of water that a whole family would otherwise use in two days. This will result in you facing a rather hefty water bill. But that doesn't mean you should not water your plants and flowers. Instead use the water sparingly and try to find other ways to meet your garden's water needs:
- Lawns and plants actually benefit from watering cans - the smaller droplets will sink into the ground more easily.
- Consider investing in or making your own water butt. This can then collect rainwater for use around the garden.
- Reuse water that you would otherwise pull the plug on. This includes cooking water, fish tank water and even bath water.
A simple way to get healthy plants and save on water is to fertilise them in nutrient-rich soil. Compost can be bought from plenty of stores but you can easily make your own. If you don't want to buy a compost bin, you can design your own by converting an old dustbin, drilling holes in the side and base and then covering with a lid.
3. Grow your own
People can find the thought of growing their own vegetables an overwhelming process but it's often much simpler than you think. They don't even require the vast swathes of space that is generally associated with them. In fact all you'll need is a few feet of land, or some large pots, a source of water and some time. Imagine the satisfaction when you can pick your own fresh produce rather than having to buy them.
- If you're starting out, lettuce is an easy vegetable to practice with. You can grow it with as little as a window box if you're short on space.
4. Choose perennials over annuals
How can you easily add colour to your garden? Simple - plant up your borders! People will often choose to change the plants that are in their borders every season, but the secret to a cost effective garden is to opt for flowers that will return each year. A perennial flower garden is a low cost and easy to maintain garden.
Image courtesy of Getty / Canopy / Herry Choi