Did you realise that in Australia last year tens of millions of dollars were spent on things for the home garden? The big players are well-aware of the potential dollars that can be made from little you and me, and throw lots of money towards advertising to encourage us to part with our hard earned. And lets face it, many of us (including myself) do spend a fair amount on our gardening hobby. However, that doesnt mean that you have to spend a lot to have a nice garden.
Many of us can remember the less affluent times when, because of necessity, we hardly spent a penny and still had very respectable home gardens. That can still be achieved, so here are a few tips:
* When preparing the new garden bed try getting permission from a landholder and collect aged animal manure, instead of simply forking out the cash to buy expensive fertiliser. Or use the contents of your old compost heap. If you must buy fertiliser, pelleted fowl manure is the most cost efficient and can be used on every plant in the garden.
* Have a go at seed saving. Seeds can be saved and planted next season from tried and true non-hybrid plants. Likewise you can save heaps by growing cuttings from your own garden and from generous friends and neighbours. And there is a huge sense of satisfaction to be gained from raising your own plants.
* Instead of spending big money on commercial fungicides and insecticides make your own, alternative eco-friendly sprays.
* Recycle everything. Garden prunings, lawn clippings, plain paper and cardboard and kitchen scraps should be composted. You can use all sorts of quirky things from industry or around the farm or home for landscaping or as features in the garden. Much of my own garden is an example of this. It pays to make regular visits to the recycling facility at the Lismore tip on Wyrallah Road. For just a few dollars you can often pick up useful things for the garden.
The Lismore Garden Club is in recess at present. The first meeting for this year will be at the Lismore Workers Club on Thursday, February 8, at 1.30pm. For any garden club enquiries, phone me on 6624 7422 or 0421 021 451.
Finally: With society today it is basically a jungle out there, so feel secure in the knowledge that you can be king or queen in your own little garden.
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