Budget busting ideas for your Kent garden

PUBLISHED: 10:43 20 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:17 20 February 2013

Budget busting ideas for your Kent garden

Budget busting ideas for your Kent garden

With the economic climate still a challenge, here are 10 budget ideas to keep your garden blooming through 2011

Budget busting ideas for your Kent garden

With the economic climate still a challenge, here are 10 budget ideas to keep your garden blooming through 2011

1 Grow from seeds

Pay a fraction of the cost for a multitude of plants annuals, biennials and veg. Snuggle up on a cold January day to browse through seed catalogues and plan for the coming year.

2 Bargain plants

Keep an eye out for healthy, discounted plants at the end of seasons, buy plants without flowers, buy mini-sized pots of quick-growing plants.

3 Right plant right place

Work with your microclimate and soil conditions, see what does well locally.

4 Propagate your own

Many plants are easy to grow from cuttings, division or self-seed. Ask neighbours and friends if you can take some cuttings.

5 Plant swap

Swap surplus seeds or seedlings or club together with friends and buy bulbs in bulk.

6 Make your own compost

Use garden and kitchen waste for free organic matter for your garden.

7 Watering

Collect rainwater and mulch plants well.

8 Recycling

All kinds of household things can be re-used with a little ingenuity for containers or sculptural focal points. Grow some bamboo or willows and use the stems for stakes and hurdles.

9 Best value

Evergreens and plants that give a long season of interest flowers, berries, foliage colour form the backbone of the garden. Fill in with hardy perennials rather than expensive bedding plants.

10 Facelift

Rejuvenate old furniture, pots and supports with a touch of paint.

Guide to propagation of some common garden plants

Acanthus root cuttings

Agapanthus division

Alchemilla - division

Anemone root cuttings

Aster division

Buxus division

Canna rhizomes

Clematis layering, leaf-bud cuttings

Coleus softwood cuttings

Delphinium division, greenwood cuttings

Fuchsia softwood cuttings

Geranium division

Helenium division

Hemerocalis division

Lupin division

Ornamental grasses - division

Pelargonium greenwood cuttings

Phormium division, offsets

Rudbeckia division

Plant of the month


Witch hazel

deciduous shrub

highly scented colourful winter flowers

autumn leaf colour


frost hardy

sun or part shade

flower colours from lemon, gold, through orange to red

free-draining neutral to acid soil

keep out of sodden soil

constant moisture needed in summer

mulch in spring

can be pruned after flowering

shallow rooting

remove suckers by pulling away rather than cutting

Ornamental tasks

recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch

repair and reshape lawn edges

continue planting bare-rooted roses

check stored dahlia tubers, if wilting soak in lukewarm water and return to store

in mild weather divide some perennials, re-plant or pot up

To taste

dig over bare areas, fork in compost or rotted manure

tie in any new shoots on trained fruit trees

place forcing jars over rhubarb

germinate seeds such as cauliflowers, lettuces, radishes and salad onions

plan a rotation system for crops

Something extra

Sow a mix of wonderful sweet peas, ready for a summer display. You can plant seeds now for strong early flowering. Select named varieties for a blend of colour and scent. You may like to soak and chit seeds before planting in small pots or cells. Nip out two leaves when four develop in about a month. Plant out in March. Use tepee or other support. Sweet peas prefer open, sunny site.

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