More quick and quirky ways to improve your garden without spending your hard-earned dollars
1. Mobile garden
Repurpose your old wheelbarrow If your old wheelbarrow has seen better days and it’s overdue for retirement, instead of throwing it out, fill it with composted soil then plant your favourite herbs and flowers. Move the barrow around the garden during the day to catch the warm sun and wheel it undercover to protect the plants from cold winter nights.
2. Water exercise
Build your bucket muscles Saving water is great but not everyone can afford a water pump to help cart the water around the garden. Using old buckets and small bins is just as good and a great way to get your daily exercise when watering the garden. Remember to divert the water into the buckets when the water tank overflows.
3. Bed bath
Make a planter tub If you’re upgrading to a spa bath, don’t throw out your bathtub. Instead, turn it into a raised garden bed. Just fill it with soil and plant all your favourite root vegetables — beetroot, carrots, parsnips etc. Just remember to remove the drainage plug before filling it up.
4. A grape idea
Make a mesh archway Left-over concrete mesh is great for creating structures for climbing plants. You can use the mesh along the fence and, for those more creative minds, why not arch the mesh over a path to create an archway to grow your grapes over.
5. Parallel lines
Train your plants along wire Here’s a way to avoid hammering in garden stakes every time you plant out a new vegie garden with climbing plants. Set up some horizontal wires running along the length of the garden and tie them to a garden stake or metal picket at either end. As your plants grow and climb, spend a little time training them along the wires.
6. It’s a cover-up
Stop the mozzies If you have buckets and bins filled with water lying around the garden, there will certainly be mosquitoes in and around them. To prevent the mozzies from breeding, cover your water containers with shadecloth or mosquito netting.
7. Poo juice for plants
Best liquid fertiliser Give your plants the drink they need to get them off to a healthy start. Fill a 100-litre drum with water and add one bag of sheep manure. Let it sit for a week to ferment before mixing it with water to apply to your plants. Dilute it 9:1 and water your plants every two weeks.
8. Underneath the arches
Quick and simple shadehouse Need to build a hot/shade house quickly and easily? Using 20mm PVC pipe, arch it over your garden bed then stake/tie it down at either end. Repeat this at onemetre intervals along the length of the garden. Tie all PVC arches together to stabilise them using a length of timber across the top. Your hot/shade house is ready for covering.
9. Top heavy
Protect tree branches Prevent fruit tree branches splitting or breaking off when the fruit nears ripening. Prop your branches up using old timber or metal sections. Be sure to place a piece of cardboard or carpet in between to avoid the timber prop cutting into the branch.
10. Out with the rot In with the chooks
Fallen fruit creates an ideal breeding ground for fungal spores. Chooks will love to help clean them up, though. They will also aerate the soil around your tree and even leave some good dollops of fertiliser in their wake! If you don’t have chooks and there are none available to borrow, rake up the fruit and add it to the compost.