We’ve just bought some seeds for our garden, and could have easily spent a heap of money. Instead we bought a few select seeds, and plan on growing the rest on the cheap.
Before you ask what kind of trickery we have up our sleeves, I’ll reveal our plans for growing our own on a budget. The secret is I found a great infographic on Pinterest (you can follow me here) about how to grow your own food cheaply from kitchen scraps, such as onion butts, ends of leeks, ends of lettuce, and mushroom stalks. I plan on giving all of this a go as this thrifty approach to gardening appeals to me very much!
Find out how you can be super thrifty in the garden too, and grow your own food cheaply after the jump…
This post is in partnership with Chris Bowers. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
I talk a lot about gardening and growing your own here on Moral Fibres, but what if you’re one of a growing number of renters, and have caught the green fingered bug? Never fear, I’ve got some great tips on gardening for renters!
Having lived in my fair share of rented properties (14! What can I say, I moved around a lot as a student/young adult…!) I’ve lived in the entire spectrum of flats. From inner city flats with no gardens, flats with a concrete yard, to flats with balconies, and flats/houses with gardens large and teeny tiny.
I’ve also experienced the entire landlord spectrum. From the landlords who don’t mind what you do to the flat or the garden, as long as it’s clean and tidy when you move out (my personal favourite); to the landlords who won’t let you do as much as hang a picture on your wall, and every other type of landlord in between.
Whatever your flat and landlord situation is, then there are lots of options for gardening for renters, and for growing your own to suit.
I’ve written from my own experience and I’ve asked gardening pro, Lyndsey Haskell, for some advice on gardening for renters too, but if we’ve missed any key advice then do add it in the comments below:
Gardening for Renters
If you have moved into a flat/house with a garden and an easy going landlord who doesn’t mind what you do to your garden, then Lyndsey wisely suggests that “it really pays to be patient and try to wait a year to see what is in the garden before you dig everything over. There may be some fabulous perennial plants ready to pop up at different times of the year.
Also, it’s a lot of work to dig over a garden and you never know when you’ll move out and want to take your plants with you. So to avoid planting things in the soil, it’s worth building a small raised bed or getting some containers or gro-bags which you can easily transport when you move. These solutions are really handy as you can better control the soil you are using too and it gives you a blank canvas for growing what you would like“.
Containers, tubs and gro-bags are highly recommended by me too. One rented flat I lived in a few years ago had a balcony no bigger than the one pictured above. We filled it with pots, plastic tubs, a wash basin, old pots, etc, and were self sufficient in lettuce, nasturtiums, chillies, herbs and pot grown strawberries that we bought online for the whole summer. It’s a cheap and easy non-permanent gardening for renters solution, and you can take your tubs with you when you move. It’s also great for gardens where the landlord won’t allow you to make any changes. For growing larger items, large plastic trugs make handy portable planters (though might require a few people to help lift it!).
Container gardening is also a good option if you have a concrete yard, or if your only outdoor space is a doorstep. While the old classic, window boxes, are great for growing herbs and lettuce in if you have absolutely no outdoor space whatsoever.
If you move into a flat with no outdoor space Lyndsey suggests that “the best things to grow indoors are some herbs and salad that don’t take up too much space and that you use a lot in your cooking, such as rosemary basil, parsley and lettuce. To maximise plant growing space think about suspending your pots on different levels using macrame or even invest in a fancy sky planter“.
Here’s a handy tutorial to make a trendy (yes, trendy, it’s true!) macrame plant pot holder if you’re feeling inspired. Otherwise window ledges make great plant growing spots. If there’s a radiator under the window just remember you’ll have to water your plants more frequently as they’ll tend to dry out faster.
Lyndsey’s final word of advice on gardening for renters is “alternatively, share your gardening space with other people. This might mean helping out a neighbour on their garden or sharing an allotment with friends. Or in some cases, joining in with a community garden. If you’re short on space or time, it takes the pressure off and means you get to share the work with other people and benefit from their wisdom“.
If this is for you then there are lots of garden share schemes popping up around the country, and you can sign up for an allotment via your local council. You can also find local community garden schemes here that you can take part in to get growing!
Lyndsey’s blog also has some great gardening tips and inspiration, so do follow along. And please add your advice and suggestions on gardening for renters in the comments below!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog. I believe that sustainable living should be hip, not hippie. Here you'll find all sorts of easy hints and tips here for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style. As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now! Want to know more? Check out the about page for more information or explore the archives using the category tabs above. Moral Fibres is always free to read. If you want to support the site's running costs you can buy me a coffee. Say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org
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