As soon as you start growing your own food you are on the way to saving lots of money, but here are some money saving tips for growers to help you grow efficiently and successfully.
If anyone can think of any more money saving tips for growers, please lets us know in the comments section below. For sure there are loads more. And use your imagination to create your own ways to save time and money and grow even better crops.
Money saving tips for growers:
- Get to know other food growers in your local community with whom you can share seeds, plants, tools, materials, knowledge, skills, and produce.
- Join a good free online food growing forum or group (like this one!) where you can post any questions to helpful experts and learn from the progress of other members.
Work in harmony with nature
- Put your kitchen and garden waste to great use and make your own compost. A good compost heap is the beating heart of a good garden and the key to fertile soil and wonderful crops.
- Create a harmonious, bio-diverse environment by attracting lots of beneficial wildlife such as birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, bees, hoverflies, butterflies, worms, and ladybirds with berry hedges, flowers, bird feeders, ponds, wild areas, and log piles. These animals will keep your slugs, snails, and harmful insects in check and ensure that your plants are pollinated and your soil fertile without you lifting a finger.
- Collect rainwater in barrels and butts.
- Grow perennials. These are plants that actually like our climate and can stay in the ground all year round, year after year. Edible perennials include artichokes, asparagus, watercress, perennial kale, cauliflower and onions.
- Grow organically. All those chemicals are not good for you or the environment and they cost money.
Create new plants for free
- Grow new free plants from cuttings. Plants you can grow easily from cuttings include currants, berries, rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, lavender, basil, oregano, and horseradish.
- Grow more new free plants by division. Plants that can be divided include rhubarb, mint, chives, oregano, tarragon, thyme, sage, and sorrel.
- Collect and dry seeds to grow further plants from. You can gather your own free seeds from the likes of beans, peas, peppers, chillies, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, courgettes, and squash to sow another time.
- Make your own plant labels out of recycled materials.
- Make your own plant pots using recycled yoghurt/hummus/margarine pots, fruit/mushroom punnets, milk/juice cartons, toilet rolls, and gutters.
- Use old net curtains as protective netting and old bed sheets as an alternative to horticultural fleece to protect plants from frost.
- Use pallets to make planters, raised beds, bug hotels, and compost bins.
- Put old plastic bottles around crops to provide warmth and protection from pests.
- Collect polythene sheets from your local furniture shop to make your own free mini polytunnels and cold frames.
Adjust your diet
- Eat weeds. Common edible and highly nutritious weeds include dandelion, chickweed, purslane, clover, nettle, daisy, wild garlic, dock, thistle, ground elder, and cleavers. But make sure you know exactly what you are picking as edible and poisonous wild plants can be easily confused.
- Eat all edible parts of the plant. We are accustomed to throwing away perfect tasty and nutritious plant parts (Cauliflower leaves, Pumpkin leaves, Radish tops and seed pods, Carrot tops, Pea shoots, Courgette flowers, Turnip tops, Beetroot leaves, Broccoli leaves and stems, Broad bean tops, pods and flowers).
- Keep your crops mulched (covered) so you have to water them less due to reduced evaporation. Use cardboard, newspaper, grass clippings, homemade compost, and leaves as effective free mulches. Mulching also starves weeds of light, so reducing time wasted weeding.