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Saving cash while enjoyinggardening

I use a lot of gravel/grit as drainage at the base of large pots and planters.

Every year when changing pots I lose a lot of gravel as I change the compost and prepare the pot or planter for reuse.

Over the last couple of years I have placed the gravel or grit into a pair of womens tights, this acts like a bag and retains the gravel, now when I change my pots and planters I just rinse the bags of gravel in clean water and retain all of the gravel no mess no waste, I have cut my gravel costs enormously. 

give it a go

happy gardening Tonbro


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 17,167

    If I use large pots for annuals I don't change the soil down to the bottom, just change the top few inches of compost.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Sometimes I put a layer of grit on the tops of pots, eg containing bulbs & when I remove whatever's in the pot I tip off the grit into a bucket. I then have bags of pristine grit for tops of things & a bucket with used grit including a bit soil; that's used for mixing with soil/compost, etc when potting up, for drainage.

    Tights & rinse idea looks good.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,306

    Good idea tonbro! I put most of my grit and gravel back into beds when I renew the contents of pots as it benefits the drainage on my clay soil. It does mean I have to buy more but I see it as a good outlay. I do the same as Jeannie sometimes - most of my pots are top dressed with grit.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks for the feedback folks I'm picking up great tips from your replies,

    Just thought it was worth sharing as aggregate has gone up quite a lot this year.

    keep sharing those ideas

    Best wishes Gardeners Tonbro

  • I have started using a biomas fuel as a decorative covering on my pots, it makes them look good and stops beetles laying eggs in my compost.

    Highland Jeanie, I have been using it instead of gavel on both Bonsai trees and alpines, whilst getting instruction/ tuition from a friend who's a member of the National Bonsai Society (NBS). It is made of a purely natural material and is a fraction of the price of the 1mm gravel used by the NBS.

    I've been trialing it throughout the summer and I am very pleased todate.

    I don't know if I can state here what the product is and where to acquire it as I don't want to fall foul of any rules. if anyone can give advice I woukld appreciate it.

    Best wishes Tonbro 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,433

    So long as you are not advertising a firm that you work for or have a financial interest in, its OK by me. we all recommend to others firms that we are satisfied with.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • I save egg shells, stick them on an old baking tray at the bottom of my oven so that they bake when I am cooking. Then I grind them up and save them in a jar. Over winter, I usually generate enough to top at least two pots to provide protection for vulnerable plants against slugs etc come spring. Also save the tops from fabric conditioner bottles - they make great (and pretty) cane toppers.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,212

    I have blue slate paths so use the slate as a top dressing for pots to stop water evaporating in summer from them, when the pots are emptied the slate gets thrown back on the paths but when in the pots they are colour co-odinated with the gardenimage.

    Spring potted up bulbs have a layer of slate on top at present so instead of looking like random placed pots of compost with nothing in them, in clusters of three they look like features around evergreens and when it snows the slate provides a layer of insulation for the bulbs against frost damage.     

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