Gardening on a Shoestring

Whether you are gardening for food, pleasure or family fun, there are many ways to save in the garden and still reap the rewards! Below are top tips and tricks shared by our Facebook friends for gardening on a shoestring.

  • I found a good idea online – buy a large galvanized garbage can with a good lid. Drill holes all around the sides and bottom for air and bury half of it in soil. Use some ripped newspaper/compost as a starter in bottom and a stretchy bungee cord to secure the lid on via handles. Essentially it is an organic rubbish reducing idea if it’s a disposing spot, or a compost maker if cared for. Karlee
  • Old rubbish bins covered with second hand hessian sacks. A super cheap way to make your own large pots for climbing plants. Erin
  • Worm farms are amazing, the worm wee, WOW, it makes a difference in your garden! Let at least one of each thing you plant go to seed and let it drop its seeds and hey presto new plants next season. Swap your produce with people who want what you have and have what you want. Also use your overabundance as currency to trade for goods or services. Donna
  • Buy seeds, you don’t have to use them all at once. Keep them in a small box and check expiry dates now and again. Maxine
  • Save seeds from the food you have, then you are growing free food! Karina
  • Always ask a gardener for cuttings – gardeners love to share. Kate
  • Upcycle pallets! So handy for so many things. Kara
  • Use old shoelaces to tie up a few plants. Also, get as many cuttings and free plants from friends and neighbours as you can. Bernadette
  • Divide, divide, divide. I often buy only one or two of a plant even if I ultimately want to mass plant it. I divide it myself, it just takes time and patience. It also gives me lots of plants I can share with family and friends. Rebecca

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Gardening on a Shoestring Comments

  • save your toilet roll holders fill with soil and plant seeds when ready to plant out did hole and plant whole thing roll will disintergrate


  • I advertised for a free old, unwanted wheelbarrow which someone kindly gave to me. My husband drilled lots and lots of holes in it. I have mass planted freesias in it and cannot wait for all that perfume come spring time. They are growing beautifully in a mix of potting soil and compost and the holes allow for ample drainage!

    Denise van den Berg

  • Speed up the composting by using your processor to whizz up scraps to a mulch. They decompose so much quicker.


  • Another great idea, thanks for sharing Bernie :) ^Tui Team


  • What a great idea Denise, it sounds like a beautiful garden feature. We'd love to see a photo. Happy gardening from the Tui Team


  • Great tip, thanks for sharing Janine! ^Tui Team


  • Check out your local library to see if they have a seed library like we do in Nelson. You will have access to locally grown seeds and all it will cost you is a donation of a few of the seeds you'll be able to harvest from those plants!