Landscaping on a budget may seem like a daunting task because landscaping is typically an expensive activity. You can easily spend thousands of dollars in a relatively short period of time landscaping a small yard.
The trick to cutting costs (and preserving your sanity) when it comes to landscaping on a budget is changing your mindset from “doing something to the land” to “working with the land.”
Thinking “nature-friendly” in your landscape design planning can help save you a lot of money in the long run.
1. Going Wild Will Save Money
Want to add a bit of color to your yard but nervous about how expensive the flowers at your local nursery are? When landscaping on a budget, consider growing wild flowers native to your area from seed instead of splurging on pricey potted plants from a garden center. Collecting seeds from wild flowers is often easy to do and some catalogs even carry them.
Wild flowers have a number of advantages over non-native flowers. They are perfectly adapted to your area (which means they require little or no maintenance), they are almost guaranteed to catch people’s attention in a way that tulips or roses won’t, and they are often extraordinarily beautiful. You won’t ever regret your decision to choose wild flowers over the more traditional choices for gardeners.
But still want some of the nursery variety? Consider container gardening for these as a less expensive option.
2. Waste Not, Want Not – Consider Composting
Composting goes in and out of style, but it offers consistent cost-saving benefits when landscaping on a budget. Mulching with compost prevents weeds, feeds your garden, fights disease and doesn’t starve plants. By composting your garden waste you can cut back on expensive bagged fertilizer and help the environment. It’s well known that artificial, nitrogen-based fertilizers leach into rivers and disrupt delicate ecosystems. Composting will help you to save your budget and the environment at the same time.
3. Small is Beautiful When Landscaping on a Budget
A lot of the costs involved in landscaping are heavily dependent on scale. Large fountains, acres of immaculate lawn, and towering sculptures are very expensive.
Small fountains, moderate patches of lawn, and small lawn ornaments do not break most people’s banks when landscaping on a budget.
If you want to add a fountain or ornament to your yard, you can, just make sure it isn’t too large.
There are many home and garden centers or even big box stores like Walmart with garden centers that offer a large selection of yard ornamentation for your to choose from. Even the small landscape ornaments will be appreciated by nature’s little friends!
4. Comparison Shop When Landscaping on a Budget
Visit multiple nurseries to get the best possible deals on the plants you want. Too many people go to only one or two nurseries and fail to compare prices across a number of different nurseries. Spend a little more time comparison shopping than the average landscaper does, and you can save a lot of money.
5. Watch Your Water
Many people overlook how their landscaping efforts will affect their water bill. The truth is that a lot of popular plants on the market require frequent watering to thrive. Buying drought-tolerant plants can help you to avoid sticker shock when you look at your water bill at the end of each month.
6. Take Advantage of Local Talent
Paying a professional to plant a tree or install a fountain for you can be expensive. Save yourself a lot of money by hiring a teenager in your neighborhood or a nearby neighborhood to help you do some of the heavy lifting.
The current economic recession means there are lots of underemployed or unemployed young men. Many of them would be happy to help you out with the hard labor for a moderate amount of money.
7. Learn to Accept Imperfection
Making your yard look great can be done without spending a lot of money, but making your yard look flawless will always be extremely expensive. Too many budding landscapers seem to think that everything in their yard must conform to their exact specifications. Abandon this perfectionistic mindset and not only will you be able to save money, you will be able to enjoy your yard more.
8. Bring in the Birds
Too many landscapers fail to recognize the many advantages of attracting birds. Birds can add a splash of color to any yard. Luring them to your yard is easy, a bird feeder or two will usually do the job. Making your yard bird-friendly is an inexpensive option for landscaping on a budget and way to make it even lovelier.
9. Set a Budget
If you don’t have a budget, you are almost guaranteed to overspend. Landscaping on a budget may not seem easy but setting a strict budget will help you to determine your real priorities.
Once you figure out that you don’t need everything, determining what you really want becomes simpler. While most people consider the creation of a budget a dreary chore, you can make it more fun by inviting your family or close friends to help you out.
10. Learn to Say No
There will inevitably be modifications you want to make to your yard that will break your budget. Be smart and learn to say no in those types of situations. Learning to say no isn’t easy, but if you want to make your yard as beautiful as you possibly can, it is essential.
Here’s The Top Rated in Print for Landscaping on a Budget
- Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places
- Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Flowers of North America (The New England Wild Flower Society)
- The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener
- Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey’s Down-To-Earth Guides)
- Attracting Birds to Your Backyard: 536 Ways to Create a Haven for Your Favorite Birds (Rodale Organic Gardening Books)
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