Gar­den­ing Char­lie’s top 10 tips

Our green-thumbed guru Char­lie Al­bone shares his thrifty back­yard se­crets

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

1 Start with a mas­ter plan

The be­gin­nings of any gar­den – n no mat­ter the size – are so im­porta im­por­tant, and in­stalling it in stages is a great way to spread the cost. Hav­ing a land­scape plan to re­fer to will en­sure you’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion with a co­he­sive, af­ford­able gar­den.


Com­post is the best ad­di­tive for healthy soil, , and plants grown in healthyhy soil al­ways out­per­form their ir poor-soil coun­ter­parts. Mak­ing your own com­postt makes your gar­den look more vi­brant and helpss cut down on kitchen and gar­den waste, too.

3 Grow from seed

Grow­ing new plants from s seed is about a tenth the cost of buy­ing ad­vanced ones, and the only dif­fer­ence is the time it takes to grow.


Grow­ing your own herbs and ve­g­ies, es­pe­cially from seed, is a fan­tas­tic way to save on house­hold ex­penses, plus it’s good to be able to mon­i­tor ex­actly what you con­sume. It also gives you the op­por­tu­nity to in­crease your in­take of or­ganic pro­duce cheaply!

5 Main­tain hard sur­faces

Paving,Pa deck­ing, fea­ture walls an­dan pool sur­rounds are ex­pen­sive to too re­plac­ere­plac but last much longer if they’re cleanedc at least once every six months. TheT best prod­uct to use is highly di­lut­ed­luted chlo­rine.c Soak your gar­den beds be­fore­fore anda af­ter clean­ing to fur­ther di­lute thet chlo­rine and en­sure it doesn’t dam­aged or kill your plants.

6 Mulch

Adding a layer of mulch to your gar­den to a thick­ness o of 50-75mm helps main­tain soil mois­ture and gives beds a more fin­ished and “de­signed” look. Plus, it costs a frac­tionon of the price of fill­ing with ex­tra plants.

7 Grow from cut­tings

This is the cheap­est way to ex­pand your ga gar­den’s plant base – just re­mem­ber to ask the p plant’s owner be­fore help­ing your­self! Some of the eas­i­est plants to prop­a­gate are rose­mary, frangi­pa­nis and hy­drangeas.


A lot of peo­ple sell their r used fur­ni­ture on­line at bar­gain prices. A lick of paint or new cush­ions and d you could have that quirky gar­den piece you’ve al­ways dreamed of.


Use 50 per cent coir (co­conut fi­bre), 25 per cent home­made com­post and the rest made up of chicken ma­nure, slow-re­lease fer­tiliser and a wet­ting agent. It’s the best mix and cheap, too!

10 Buy small

If you’re p plan­ning to ld land­scape a large area, buy your plants young and watch them grow. They will ac­tu­ally set­tle in quicker and grow faster once they’re es­tab­lished than more ma­ture – and more ex­pen­sive – plants.

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