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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


Hamamelis


Witch hazel


deciduous shrub


highly scented colourful winter flowers


autumn leaf colour


Cultivation


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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