From pots to pH balanced soils, plant enthusiasts know how expensive it can be to raise a family of plants. However, you don’t always have to break the bank when welcoming a new plant to your home.
Here are five ways to keep the costs of your garden essentials low so you can continue to splurge on your favorite succulents and hanging plants.
1. Reuse old containers as pots and planters
While pots that cost less than $ 5 are readily available at many nurseries like at Ikea and Noé Garden Center, you will find that the costs will start to add up as you bring more plants into your home.
This is especially true if you buy larger plants that require larger pots, as prices start to increase by 86%.
To save money on housing your plant, you can consider reusing old household and kitchen containers in small pots and planters for your new additions.
Old yogurt pots or pasta pots can be used as little pots for your new plants or seedlings, which could save you an average of $ 5.59 to $ 8.04 per plant.
As long as you poke a hole in the bottom of your container for drainage, reused containers are good housing for seedlings and other plants in their early stages of growth.
DIY newspaper pots also provide support and housing for the latest additions to your garden. Paper pots are an inexpensive alternative to clay and ceramic pots and are especially useful for starting seedlings.
By saving money on these small planters, you can save for larger purchases if and when your seedlings are ready to be repotted.
2. Swap your pesticides for natural and cheaper alternatives
Every gardener knows the frustrations of mushroom flies and other types of pests, as well as the price to pay for protecting your plants. A 0.50 to 1.0 L bottle of regular pesticide costs an average of $ 14.34, while neem products are even more expensive at $ 16.31.
To save money in the long run, you can turn to cheaper products that many gardeners swear by vinegar and citrus peels.
White vinegar is a good base to mix into a DIY pesticide, as it repels ants, mosquitoes, fruit flies, and other types of pests. The acetic acid in vinegar makes it effective as a contact spray, meaning you should use it directly on the bugs as you find them.
If the infestation in your garden is not serious, a vinegar mixture could help deter insects, while saving you up to 344% on pesticide costs.
In addition to vinegar, citrus zest also works to ward off insects. The active ingredients limonene and linalool found in lemon and orange peels are natural insecticides that help keep bugs away from your garden.
By boiling your leftover citrus peel in water and creating a spray or sprinkling citrus zest around your garden, you can remove store-bought pesticides from your cart and save up to $ 14. , $ 34 and $ 16.31 on regular and neem-based pesticides, respectively.
3. Turn your kitchen waste into free fertilizer
As your plants need repotting and an increase in nutrients, you may discover the hidden costs of soils and fertilizers growing at an unsustainable rate. Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to improve the health of your garden – and they use up all the leftover food in your home.
Based on a sample of 25 fertilizers, you can purchase a 500ml bottle or a 1kg bag for an average cost of $ 15.56. To save money on this regular purchase, consider making a home compost to improve your soil and nourish your plants.
Standard compost is made up of leftover fruits and vegetables, coffee and tea grounds, eggshells, dried leaves, grass, and shredded newspaper, among others.
Likewise, you can create a spray fertilizer by using water which is used for boiling vegetables and eggs. Eggs are a particularly good source of calcium and potassium, which plants need to grow.
So instead of throwing away your leftover food, use it to grow your plants and your savings.
ALSO READ: How to Grow Your Own Edible Vegetable Garden in Singapore
4. Put your vegetable garden to work
Now that you’ve learned some profitable ways to manage your garden, it’s time to put your green thumb into action. Growing your own food is a great way to offset the costs of your indoor garden, and there are plenty of herbs and vegetables that are easy to grow.
Regrowing a spring onion is as easy as it gets and saves you a few bucks on every grocery trip. Simply cut off the ends of its roots, place it in a bowl of water, and harvest your full-sized spring onion after five to seven days.
The estimated monthly grocery cost for a spring onion is around $ 3, which means you can save that much per month by growing your own.
To take it a step further, you can put your garden to work by multiplying your current plants and selling them to other plant enthusiasts.
For example, the popular pothos plant is an easy to propagate plant with a retail value of $ 6.90. By setting up a small nursery at home, you can sell your buds at a discounted price which some gardeners may prefer as they would like to grow their plants at an early stage.
5. Protect your plants with home insurance
By implementing these DIY home gardening tips, you can save money on pots, fertilizer, topsoil, and pesticides. However, it is important to protect your garden from unforeseen accidents in addition to common problems such as mushroom flies and overwatering.
A good way to protect your indoor garden or balcony is to find home insurance that includes plants in the coverage.