The pandemic has changed the way we live and work – right from year-long WFHs to emergency lockdowns. The switch from fast-paced office life to a flexible WFH schedule hasn’t been easy to adapt to, and despite a home-bound schedule, the competitive spirit of the corporates soars high.
But the biggest downside to the WFH schedule is that it blurs the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. Dealing with this invasion can sometimes be overwhelming, and there are only so many ways to cope with a rough day when you’re bound to sit at home. In such cases, tending to and caring for your plants can elevate your mood.
Gardening is a cathartic activity for many. If you often feel overwhelmed by the pace of life, channelling your emotions through gardening can help fade those feelings. There are several health benefits associated with gardening, but did you know gardening can actually help you save money? Read on to find out how!
Learn the tips and tricks to efficient garden-keeping which won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
What are the costs involved in gardening?
Many believe gardening to be an expensive hobby, but that’s not always the case. Gardening may be a tad bit expensive for those starting, but it eventually gets much more cost-efficient once you get the hang of things and possess all the tools and equipment needed to set your garden up.
Here’s what you might have to spend on initially:
- A pair of gardening gloves
- Pairs of gardening boots or shoes
- A large shovel or spade
- A couple of long-handled pruners
- Hand spade and fork
- Pruning shears
- Hosepipe and watering can
If you’re a ‘Gardenscapes’ fan, you’d be into aesthetic garden keeping. You’ll have to pour in a decent amount to buy decorative items – especially garden gnomes since they’re quintessentially British! Here are some additional costs that you might incur:
- Irrigation costs (depending on the produce)
- Plant feed (fertilisers, compost, etc.)
- Insect / pest control
- Aesthetics (decorators such as birdbaths, fountains, feeders, benches, gnomes, lakes etc.)
- Damage control (hail, storms, snow etc.)
The additional costs largely depend on the kind of plants you’re growing.
Can growing a custom garden save me money?
Gardening can undoubtedly help you make some extra money on the side. Although, the returns will depend primarily on your produce. Here’s how the green stains and soil-clad hands can help you grow your savings:
- Gardening is therapeutic: Gardening is one of the most calming yet revitalising outdoor activities. It is such an immersive experience that people commonly lose track of time when they’re gardening – a few minutes turn into hours in no time! Studies after studies show that outdoor, green environments can be highly invigorating. For those who turn to expensive activities or habits to uplift their spirits, gardening can be a cheaper way for you to rejoice.
- Gardening is a workout in itself: If you’re not a HIIT or Pilates enthusiast and are more inclined towards therapeutic exercises, gardening might just be your thing. Research shows that gardening and household work can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Garden-keeping can help you burn more than 200 calories within an hour, which is way more than what you would burn walking at a moderate pace for 1 hour.
- Sell your produce to earn money: Be it fruits, vegetables or flowers, your yield can make you money. You could either sell your harvest to an aggregator or set up a stand-alone shop (depending on the laws in your neighbourhood). If deemed appropriate, you could set up a small shop and sell it to your neighbours. Another way is to reach out to restaurants and pitch them the idea – a conversation with the manager could be helpful.
- Rent your garden: Have an exquisite garden? Let others enjoy it too! You could consider renting your garden to people for small events like garden parties. A well-maintained garden will give you an edge on renting platforms like Airbnb.
- Save some money on groceries: If horticulture interests you, you could try planting stable fruits and vegetables – considerably cutting down your grocery expense. Research about the plants that’ll grow well in your garden – consider extrinsic factors such as the weather, water requirements, etc. Since horticulture is small scale, you may not want to waste money on plants that don’t produce edibles.
How to save money when planting your garden?
Here are ten super tips for the money-savvy garden-keeper:
- Seed packets (25-35p) are way cheaper than seedlings or grown plants.
- Make your compost by adding grass clippings, fruits and vegetable peels or dead leaves.
- Use the internet to your advantage instead of spending money on books to master the art of horticulture.
- If you have friends into garden-keeping, you can take flowers or leaves that fall off to sow in your garden.
- Get plant clippings from your friends or neighbours if you’re just starting gardening.
- Consider bare-root plants since they’re much cheaper than pot-grown plants.
- You split the perennials of herbaceous plants to make two or more plants. Although, you should learn the technique first to implement it correctly.
- Join a local gardening group that carries out meetups and sales. You could swap seeds with other group members and purchase items on a deal.
- Toilet roll tubes make an environment-friendly plant pot – they’re biodegradable. You could use these tubes for smaller saplings.
- Take a DIY approach to make decorative items for your garden – repurpose old logs, palettes, or jewellery to spruce up your garden.
You can do lots more; for instance, it is best to regularly sharpen your gardening equipment than buying one every other season. Plus, you could use e-commerce websites that specialise in second hand and rented items like the Freecycle group, Gumtree or Fat Lama.
Gardening is unquestionably the most enlightening human pleasure, but it takes patience and practice to maintain your garden like all other things in life. If you’re only just starting out, growing numerous plants may overwhelm you. So, start small and work your way up – once you get the hang of it, you will find unmatched serenity in garden-keeping!
Figuring out ways to minimise your input is the key to cost-efficient gardening. But run a thorough research on gardening methods before trying something new. If you’re trying to beautify your garden, you could thrift your way or barter with friends and add life to your garden!