Blitzing on the cheap
Thinking of having a blitz but the thought of the financial aspect doing your head in? Here’s a few tips for stretching your budget that little bit further…
Newspapers and cardboard are a must for this. These can be easily sourced from all kinds of places – newsagents always have leftover newspapers (just tell them you need it for packing boxes, it’s easier – trust me!), your local café and nursing home will most likely have a heap as well
Jump onto Gumtree and type in free mulch for your area. It’s that easy. Sometimes you’ll have to take a truckload, which usually looks like Ayers Rock on your nature strip. Be sure to offer some to your neighbours, friends, everybody – even if you have the old-school quarter acre-block, you may not be able to get through all of this. But it’s good stuff 😉
Mulchspot is another good option – especially if you plan ahead!
Most of us visit cafés at some point. Ask them for leftover coffee grounds – your acid living plants (azaleas, blueberries, etc) and compost will love you for it. Worms will create castings in your honour. Snails and slugs won’t be so keen, but we don’t live for their approval…
This can be used for ground cover, in your veggie patches, as a layer in your no-dig garden, etc. Animal shelters often go through a heap of this and struggle to get rid of it. Do them a solid and take what you can – places like Dandelions Retreat in Box Hill will be more than happy for you to take what you want – bags, bale-loads, a trailer-load – and they usually are mixed with animal droppings which can contribute to the biomass. Be careful if there is too much poo though – this may be too much for tender seedlings!
Go for a road trip around the Yarra Valley. You can have some food and wine if you like, but make sure you stop at one of the bazillion places that offer cheap manure. This way you’ve had a grand day out AND you’ve got something for your garden. WIN!
There are sources for cheap plants around: in the west, the POWer Plants Community Garden have a sale once a month and will always look after you if you’re having a permablitz at your place. Bulleen Art and Garden will give you 15% off plants, and 7.5% off most materials for a permablitz, and CERES Nursery will give you 10% off all plants as well.
Your best resource is always going to be other people. Visit your local food swap, join your local permaculture group, or get involved at your local community garden. The rewards are enormous!
Local Food Connect have put together a fanastic resource of free materials – check it out!
Got any other suggestions for keeping costs down? Add your comments below!
MulchNet is a WA company which offers free mulch and paid loads. I have received a load and waited 6 months for it on the east coast. It’s a sharing kind of system, not a just take and run. So spread the word with anyone who is in the horticultural / Landscape industry in the east after you or before you get a load. My next load is being paid for as a reciprocal gesture. It is very cheap.
horse poo: barwise st, north melbourne collect bw from 11-12am fri and sat. its free, byo bags/containers/vessels, they have a shovel
I would let it sit and rest for a bit before you use it!
That is a great list of low cost inputs. The big job is preparing the ground. Planting out can be a longer process as you purchase on the cheap… bare rooted trees are much cheaper. We just picked some up from Bulleen.