Spring is here and the vibrant colors of the season are everywhere. After spending so much time at home this past year, you may see your lawn in a new light. Perhaps your neighbors are setting up a pollinator garden, or you’ve been reading up on outdoor decorating.
Changing your house’s exterior can boost your home’s appeal, but it’s also pricey. If you want the same improvements with a smaller budget, here are a few ways to cut your home landscape costs.
1. Get to Know the Growing Conditions
You can pour money into fertilizers, flowers, and pots. If you don’t know what you’re doing or gardening with, though, then you’ll just waste money. If you take the time to research and prepare, you’ll not only hack your spending in half but your time as well.
Pay attention to the type of soil you’ll be planting in to start. If your ground doesn’t have a balanced PH level, your plants will struggle to get the proper nutrients. Not knowing that could lead to excess purchases of fertilizer that won’t do anything ultimately.
2. Shop Around for Deals
There aren’t universal prices on gardening equipment and plants, only comparable ones. Take a day to get familiar with your local nurseries and see which offers the most competitive pricing. You can look at online garden centers for discounts as well.
Remember that with warmer weather, people will be spring cleaning. You might see your neighbors setting up garage sales. See if you can find any tools, plants, or gloves at big discount prices at one of these. Likewise, if you meet any gardening friends this way, see if you can go in together on buying bulk or renting equipment.
3. Plant Seeds
It’s nice when you can speed up the process and have blooming plants sooner. But frequently, you can save money by starting with seeds. That applies to both grass and flowers. For example, sod gives you a finished, clean-looking lawn. However, even though you are saving on time, you’re not saving on money. Starting from seeds is considerably cheaper.
Also, many flower seeds stay good for years if they’re stored right. Some flowers are self-sowing or drop seed naturally. See if you can prioritize those in your garden so that you can ensure you have a free option for next year. Or, use your seed packets strategically. Use a portion of them and then stow the rest away for another time.
4. Buy in Bulk
Generally, buying in bulk is a cheaper option compared to buying bagged supplies. Even though buying in bulk may give you more than you need, you can find neighbors or friends who are interested in sharing the costs.
You may also be able to buy from a local store, which may offer competitive pricing and help support your community.
Another reason to buy garden supplies in bulk is to ensure your product will be the same quality throughout. Plus, we should consider the environmental factor with a garden – buying a batch reduces packaging and waste.
5. Collect Inspiration
You could have a professional come out to your house and design for you. However, that’s an easy way to shell out extra money. No one knows what you want better than yourself. Try to find your own inspiration to cut home landscape costs.
Inspiration can come from magazines or online forums. Print out or clip the pictures together into a scrapbook or post them on an image board site, like Pinterest.
Don’t be afraid to take some inspiration from your local area, either. Speak to your neighbors about their style tips or host a party, in-person or virtually, and make an event out of it.
6. Make Your Own Compost
A lot of food waste goes into your kitchen garbage bin. All those scraps don’t have to take up space or get thrown away, though. You can repurpose them into compost. All you have to do is layer a little soil and organic materials to create a substance called humus. This is a great way to feed your grown plants, whether it’s flowers or a vegetable garden, and cut home landscape costs in the process.
7. Mix it Up with Annuals
Many people like perennials because you can plant them and forget. Then they come back year after year with less maintenance. But don’t shy away from annuals just because they can’t regrow. Annuals are a less expensive option and while they’re a little more labor-intensive, bring variety to a garden.
Usually, you can find a wider variety with annuals and more vibrant colors. So, if you like to change up your landscaping look every year, they’re an affordable but exciting way to make that happen.
You can also take advantage of some self-seeding annuals, like Cosmos or California poppies, if you don’t want to buy new flowers every year.
8. Gather Fallen Leaves
Leaf removal can cost anywhere from $30 to $550, depending on the size and state of your lawn. Granted, they can be a pain. But paying a lawn care service or your city to shuttle them away at a fee is a loss for your garden.
Instead, consider collecting those fallen leaves next fall. You can add them to your compost heap or make them into mulch. It puts them to good use, saves on money, and is a natural way to keep your soil most while protecting your plants from winter temperatures.
Just make sure you break those leaves down first for the mulch! Shredding them lets air and water into the ground.
9. Practice Pruning Efforts
Hiring a lawn care service to prune your trees and shrubs can come at a hefty price. According to Fixr, most Americans will pay an average of $350 to $650 alone to trim a tree.
No one wants an overgrown or dying plant taking up space in their landscaping. But learning to prune on your own can save on pricey service fees. Plus, knowing when to prune and how can help you save your plants. That way, you can avoid expensive replacements.
10. Mix Materials
Building a patio can be a transformative home improvement project. It lets you create a space to entertain guests or enjoy the sun while your kids play out back.
But using only one type of material can add up. Instead, consider ways you can make designs out of a variety of stones. Take a plain concrete patio and combine some flagstone into the overall look or look for recycled materials. Look for secondhand options from construction sites, brickyards, or quarries.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re decorating your first house or testing out Mother’s Day ideas, landscaping is a way to bring a personal touch to your home. And, you have plenty of choices to make it totally your own. Between picking the right flowers or creating a unique patio design, it’s in your hands to create the perfect home exterior.
Landscaping doesn’t have to come at a high cost. With a little hard work and resourcefulness, you can cut home landscape costs while creating the yard fo your dreams.