Sunday, 31 May 2015

Space and time garden series - grow your own tomatoes

I'm starting a series of small garden posts for those with a small garden and those like me who do have a bit of space but don't have the time to manage a full garden veg patch.

Reiterating the theme of this blog of money saving without too much effort and certainly without making life miserable I have embarked on a veg 'patch' suitable for the space or time restricted gardener.

I try to grow things I love to eat, things that are expensive and things that taste so much better home grown.

You can find tomato plants everywhere at the moment. I'm not talking about in a garden centre or diy shop. Plenty of people (with more time than I have) grow from seed and then sell there excess ones at the side of the road or on the car boot sales at this time of year.  This is also true of pepper, chilli, strawberry and courgette plants amongst many others. 

We love cherry tomatoes and can be pricey for nice quality tasty ones.  I picked up these 4 plants for £2 from the local preschool sale. You may notice in the background there is a couple of strawberry plants which I also picked up for £1.

Oh I hear you say those metal tubs don't look cheap, well they are a couple of rusty old tubs that I got for free and I cleaned up and drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage. The strawberries are in an old plastic tub I've reused for a few years. These plastic tubs can be picked up at the car boots or new for only a few pounds. 

If you have a spare corner in your garden create a compost heap or use a compost bin. Often your local council will often sell plastic compost bins very cheaply, we have a wooden one up one corner of our garden and this year has created all the compost we will need for our garden this summer.  I saw a great pallet one online see the instructions HERE use smaller pallets to create a smaller version.  Paint in colours to make a feature of a small garden. Our compost costs are zero for this year. 

Finally 2 years ago we purchased a wormworks wormery from gumtree complete with worms for about £20, it measures about 30cm squared and creates all of our fertiliser plus some super strong compost. It has taken a while to get it working well but has resulted in fertiliser costs of zero this year!

This took two minutes to plant out and the compost and wormery take a few minutes a week to keep them in tip top condition.  Total cost of this set up £3 this year and with a bit of looking after these plants will give us all the tomatoes we need and a few strawberries for the little one. 

Any ideas for my space and time garden let me know on

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