Gardening Vivian | 05 Jan 2011 01:00 pm

What Is Your Garden Costing You?

It can be a scary exercise to sit down and work out exactly what is spent every year, on the average home gardens and lawns.

Try adding up the costs of plants, weedicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilisers, petrol, mower and trimmer maintenance, weed eater cord, garden mulch and even water costs. Even the time and effort we go to in order to maintain a good-looking environment for our families and ourselves can amount to a substantial price.

So it is no wonder that many people are looking at ways to save money for more important causes.

One of the first things that you can do to save money, is to make use of as much of that organic matter that many people throw in the bin or wash down the sink.

For instance do you throw out your lawn clippings? Do you dutifully wrap up and throw out those old veggie scraps?

Are you one of those people who regularly get the trailer out and make trips down to the landfill with a pile of branch prunings?

What about those pile of leaves you threw in the bin last autumn?

Do you realise that all of those things can be turned into a wonderful form of plant food, as well as being used as a barrier to prevent the soil from loosing moisture and therefore increasing the amount of time between watering your garden. An organic mulch will also improve the soil structure, increase the good animals like worms while assisting in decreasing the nasty pests living in the soil.

By keeping these sorts of things within your own garden you are also assisting in reducing the effects that city living is having on the environment in landfill problems and costs.

There are a number of different ways that you can recycle these piles of organic matter within your own yard. One is to apply the bulk organic matter directly to your garden beds, ensuring that you don’t pile the material directly up against the trunks or main stems of the plants. A second idea to get a worm farm and recycle your kitchen waste that way; the worms provide you with a very strong and nutritious fertilising liquid for the garden as a bonus. This liquid is so strong it has to be diluted 10-1.

Don’t, by the way, put meat products, citrus peels or onion and garlic in with the worms. A third way is to purchase or construct your own compost pile/bin/tumbler and recycle the material that way.

So just by composting your old leaves, soft cuttings, veggie and fruit scraps, chipped branches, lawn clippings etc., you can do a lot to reduce your costs that you would have spent on such things as garden mulch and fertilisers as well as assisting your plants to last much longer between watering periods. So as you can see there are a number of reasons for not throwing away all that organic material.

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