gardening for newbies

Revamp your garden on a budget this Easter: Expert tips for novice gardeners

Saturday 23rd Mar 2024 |

Gardening is a beloved pastime in the UK, yet for beginners, the associated costs can be daunting. But getting your garden in order doesn’t have to break the bank. By being savvy with your approach, you can make it both fulfilling and budget-friendly.

As spring unfolds with longer days and warmer weather, Easter presents an ideal opportunity to dive into gardening projects. Here are some savvy tips from the team at to help you get started without breaking the bank:

  • DIY compost:
    The key to a beautiful garden is having quality compost for your plants to thrive. Buying compost can get expensive, but it’s easy to make your own. Create your own by layering ‘green’ (fruit and veg peels, coffee grounds, freshly cut grass) and ‘brown’ (dry leaves, straw, shredded newspaper, cardboard) materials. With regular maintenance, you can produce nutrient-rich compost in 3 to 6 months.
  • Choose seeds:
    Instead of splurging on starter plants, opt for seeds. They’re more affordable and offer a wider selection of plant varieties.
  • Opt for perennial plants:
    A perennial plant lives for more than two years and will return year after year, reducing the need for replanting. Once established, perennials require less maintenance and water, making them a cost-effective choice.
  • Read the labels:
    When you’re walking around a garden centre as a beginner, it’s easy to choose the plants you like the look of, but this can be a costly mistake. Before purchasing plants for your garden, it’s important to read the label to ensure they’ll thrive in your garden. Understand the the sunlight conditions in your garden: choose sun-loving plants if you have sunny areas and choose shade-tolerant varieties for shady spots. Get to know the type of soil in your garden too – for instance, is the soil chalky or clay-like? Matching your plants to your garden’s conditions will help them flourish and save you disappointment and money replacing them later on.
  • DIY pest control:Avoid costly chemical pesticides by opting for homemade methods. You can make DIY insecticidal sprays using household ingredients like garlic and chilli peppers.
  • Consider secondhand equipment:Keep your eyes peeled for secondhand gardening equipment in charity shops and online using platforms like Facebook Marketplace. You can often find quality items at a fraction of the cost of new ones.
  • Garden tool maintenance:
    Extend the life of your gardening tools by regularly cleaning, sharpening, and oiling them. Proper maintenance reduces the need for frequent replacements and ensures that your tools remain effective and efficient.
  • Shop out of season:
    Take advantage of end-of-season sales to purchase gardening supplies, tools, and equipment at discounted prices. Retailers often offer significant markdowns on items like planters, seeds, and gardening gloves to clear out inventory before the next season.
  • Compare prices and shop online:
    Before making a purchase in a garden centre, compare prices across multiple retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Garden centres aren’t always the cheapest places to buy what you need – supermarkets are a good place to look for gardening tools and plants too. If you’re buying online, always remember to search for discount codes before making a purchase. Many retailers offer exclusive discounts to new customers, newsletter subscribers, or through social media promotions.
  • Take advantage of loyalty cards:
    Sign up for loyalty cards offered by garden centres to earn rewards points, discounts, and exclusive offers. Some retailers offer birthday discounts or special perks for frequent shoppers.

Michael Foote, Editor-in-Chief of money-saving website,, said: “By embracing a thrifty mindset and adopting practical strategies, gardening beginners can enjoy the beauty and rewards of their garden without breaking the bank. By implementing these tips, you can significantly reduce your gardening expenses while still enjoying a thriving and beautiful garden. Remember, gardening is not just about the end result but also the joy and satisfaction of nurturing nature and watching your efforts bloom”.