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.theguardian - 29 days ago

Spring gardening: savvy tips to save you time and money

As Covid lockdown rules ease and Britons head outside, here’s how to create a beautiful plotBuying plants by mail order: what are your tips?Gardening is always a process of experimentation: you will kill some plants along the way while others thrive in a way you may never have expected. But by doing some research before you head online or to the garden centre, you can save yourself wasting lots of time and money on projects that will only disappoint. The key to being a savvy gardener is weighing up your time, budget, expertise level and the nature of your space to work out what you can grow and how.Here’s an example: it may seem cheaper to grow tomatoes from seed, given a packet sets you back about £2, but do you have space to nurture dozens of small plants? You will need to find a warm, light spot for your seedlings to grow indoors in the period before they can safely live outside 24/7 (mid to late May in the UK). Then consider how many of the plants you have room for outside, and how many tomatoes your family eats. Rather than starting from scratch, you may conclude it is wiser to wait a few weeks and buy the exact number of young plants you need that can go straight outside. Starting this way also means you could grow a few different varieties, one plant of each. Three large plug plants will set you back about £5-£10 via mail order when they go on sale soon. Suttons offers three tomato plug plants of different varieties for £9.99, while the Organic Gardening Catalogue has a Tutti Frutti collection of three different small tomatoes for £4.99. Continue reading...


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