It’s a given that if you have a yard, you’re thinking about how it should look to improve its aesthetic appeal both for your family and guests. Landscaping, however, can be a tough job, especially for those who don’t have experience. Sure. Some agencies assist homeowners, but sometimes they charge huge fees that can cause a big hole in your wallets.
Thankfully, however, you can do some practical steps to improve your yard while saving on money. Both DIY and budget-friendly approaches consider the following tips. Here we go.
1. Choose a Purpose for your Space
Your intended utilization of your outdoor space decides how you should design it. Determine if you want to boost your landscape design to:
- A bee or butterfly garden
- A vegetable or productive herb garden
- A play area for pets or children
- A lounging site and outdoor dining for yourself and visitors
From these options, you can select at least one, space and budget permitting.
By determining how you utilize your yard, you can create a budget plan and refrain from overspending unnecessary supplies and services. It also allows you to save on budget and identify the highest costs to consider, such as developing a ground-level deck and putting in sod.
2. Work with your Yard
Rather than attempting to establish something different, work with the backyard you have. For instance, if your yard has huge, naturally occurring boulders and rocks, moving them can incur considerable expense. Consider working around them by establishing a rock garden instead of paying for removal. You can also use mulch and flowers to develop an appealing feature piece.
The more expensive landscaping becomes, the more you have to modify your yard and introduce foreign items and materials. Relocating rocks, leveling terrain, and uprooting trees are all costly activities. Work with existing materials and natural features instead of attempting to develop a yard into something it is not.
3. Salvage Existing Wooden Fencing or Decking
Yards have the following crucial components: patios, decks, and fences. These components can turn into a state of despair when no proper interventions are in place. But here is the thing. Just because your outdoor wooden structures are seemingly dilapidated and hopeless does not mean you cannot salvage them for your new landscaping plan.
Instead of spending vast sums of money on replacing an old deck or fence, fix it yourself by:
- Rendering everything a proper scrub
- Replacing or repairing broken and damaged boards
- Pressure-washing chipping paint and aged wood
- Applying a waterproof sealant, stain, or paint
- Maintaining it every year
One of the recommends strategies to improving the home is buying some sealant and renting a pressure washer. That will cost you significantly less compared to availing the services of a contractor or a service provider to rebuild your backyard.
4. Choose Fence and Deck Materials based on Need and Climate
Speaking of practicality in the long run, salvaging your deck or wooden fence is usually not sufficient. If you plan to rebuild or replace a patio, deck, or fence, you can save on costs by purchasing and using materials that are most appropriate for your climate.
Let’s say you live in an area where it’s either particularly humid or hot. Consider more frequent maintenance and replacement of your wooden structures since they’re exposed to harsh conditions like rains or the sun, which can destroy or damage them.
It would be best to ought for choices with a longer lifespan and more resilient to natural elements such as metal, concrete, vinyl, brick, and composite. To identify the amount you could save for future replacement and maintenance, conduct a cost-benefit analysis while looking for an alternative to wood.
5. Use Natural Elements
Some of the inexpensive alternatives to edging and store-bought pavers are natural features such as stones and rocks. You can also utilize natural mulch like pine needles, shredded leaves, or grass clippings, as well as tree stumps as stables or stools in your flower beds. These components improve the natural and rustic appeal of your backyard and come at little to zero expense. You can browse online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to pick up free rocks in new landscaping projects. You can also repurpose dead trees by converting them into furniture or wooden displays. For free mulch, you can empty your lawnmower.
6. Create a Lush Lawn
If you have weeds or sparse grass coverage that have dominated your yard, consider putting in some work to establish a thriving and lush lawn. But bringing your grass back to life does not entail hiring an expensive landscaper. You can deal with the weeds by using a lawn-friendly weed killer or pulling them by hand.
You can also bring your lawn back to life by reseeding it when it has thin or dead grass. You can also apply a high-quality fertilizer to promote the growth of grasses while helping kill weeds.
Local garden centers and home improvement stores only carry materials and plants that are appropriate to your zone. Thankfully, you can easily find products applicable to your site without much hassle if you buy locally instead of online. You can always seek assistance from a store employee in finding materials suited for your soil type.
Here is another consideration. You may need to plant new grass if your lawn is too far gone, which entails a lot of time and effort. It includes seeding or putting strips or squares of pre-grown grass, laying down landscaping fabric, and stripping your old grass.
Although you can always hire a landscaper to do the installation, you can save more money if you do it yourself. Depending on the species of grass and the rates in your town, the installation can cost between $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot on average. Add to that the expenses when buying landscaping fabric, fertilizer, and topsoil, including rent tools for grading the lawn.
Tapping a landscaper can entail around $1 and $2 per square foot. By implementing practices yourself, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars.
7. Landscape with Native Plants
Native plants are species that grow naturally in your hardiness zone. Native plants typically thrive in your soil and climate, which means they’re easy to grow and are low-maintenance compared to potentially particular alien species.
Native gardening saves on costs for water, pesticides, and fertilizers because they entail less maintenance. It’s beneficial for newbie gardeners since it can prevent you from spending money on species that are not appropriate for your zone or soil. If you insist on nonnative species, expect to devote a lot of extra effort to grow them.
Native plants also attract wildlife, including butterflies, bees, and birds, since they offer natural diets and familiar shelter for different endemic species in your area. You can talk to someone at your local plant nursery or by perusing the Native Plant Database to find native plants.
8. Plant Perennials
Perennial plants come up each year, unlike annuals which only bloom for one season. Among the typical perennials are bulbs such as irises, daffodils, and crocuses, all of which sprout each spring. Perennials can also be fruit bushes, cover plants and vegetables.
You don’t have to buy new plants or flowers every year with perennials since the former can only be planted once. Over time, they also tend to multiply so you can separate bulbs and plants and use them in other sites of your backyards. You can also trade them for other species to be added to your lawn.
9. Plant from Seed
When growing flowers or a garden, it’s a lot cheaper if you plant from seed instead of buying established sprouts and plants. But that entails more effort on your part. For instance, the typical cost of a pack of basil seeds is around $1 to $3 compared to a single basil plant which can fetch around $5 to $15, depending on the type. Note, however, that it will take a few days to a few weeks for the seeds to sprout.
You can either start the seeds indoors or sow them directly into the ground-based on their germination period and growing season. Consider buying some supplies upfront like a growing medium, a grow light, and starter trays when opting for growing seeds indoors. So that you won’t have to buy each set of tools every season, you can reuse many of these tools.
On the other hand, you just need a planter or garden bed and some soil if you plant the seeds outdoors.
10. Build your Own Garden Beds
Vegetable gardens and flower beds are practical DIY landscaping projects. You don’t have to make things expensive and complicated when establishing a garden. You can use planters around trees or flower beds as natural edging or establish a simple vegetable or herb bed in an unused area of your yard. Among the typical options are container gardens and raised planting beds.
So these are some of the DIY tips to know. Consider these when starting your own landscaping project.