Landscaping on a Budget

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Landscaping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to deal with a second-rate yard. There are plenty of ways to create a beautiful and attractive outdoor space without breaking the bank.

Tips and Ideas

Take a look at these budget landscaping tips and ideas for inspiration.

Apply the clusters of planters strategy. Add some visual interest to your outdoor area and group planters together for added depth and height. Terra cotta planters are inexpensive and classic. Try grouping three or four planters of varying dimensions in the corner of your yard. Plant different flowers and creeping plants. Ensure that you provide enough interest to draw attention to varying levels. Some plants should be tall and straight, while others are smaller and more bush-like.

Use easy-to-maintain ground cover. A healthy-looking lawn is an attractive feature. However, you also need to think about the costs and effort of upkeep. A grass-covered yard might not be for you if you live in a hot, dry climate or don’t enjoy mowing the lawn on a regular basis. Grass also needs to be watered regularly.

Ground-covering plants are an attractive and increasingly common alternative to a traditional lawn. They are often fast-growing, so it shouldn’t take too long before you reach sufficient coverage. Ground-covering plants are often inexpensive and can be cost-effective solutions for dealing with hard-to-maintain areas.

Use community mulch. Some towns and cities offer free mulch to residents. They often collect tree cuttings in spring and fall and turn them into mulch. It is often available for pickup in public gardens or city parks.

Applying garden mulch helps your soil and plants retain moisture as it contributes to slow water evaporation. It also provides nutrients, giving an attractive finishing touch to your flower beds. Try giving your city's parks department a call. They can help you with information, let you know whether you qualify and where to pick up the mulch.

Be aware, though, that you might need to bring a shovel and a pickup with you to get your mulch home. It usually doesn’t come bagged.

Water Conservation

It is common to think that landscaping on a budget is about getting cheap plants. Water conservation can also positively impact your finances.

Choose perennial plants. Most plants require supplemental watering. Try to pick drought-tolerant perennials when selecting plants for your yard, so you save on water costs. Perennials have the added benefit of coming up year after year and will save you money compared to buying annuals that only live for one season.

Harvest rainwater. A rain barrel attached to a downspout on your house or garage will allow you to collect rainwater from your rooftop for use in watering your landscape plantings.

Use grey water. Grey water, which is water that comes out of sinks, baths, showers, laundry and dishwashers is an effective strategy to apply water-wise landscaping. You can capture some of your grey water by hand using buckets, but a more sophisticated system will require plumbing reconfigurations.

One straightforward water-collection method would be to simply to collect warm-up water that might otherwise go down the drain while you are waiting for the hot water to reach the faucet or shower. Similarly, if you are running the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, consider collecting it in a container and using it to water plants.

Mow your lawn high. Leaving your grass at a higher height will result in the development of a deeper and more extensive root system. This deeper root system will more efficiently use water and be more tolerant to drought. You will still need to water your lawn, but you will reduce its water requirements.

Other water conservation ideas include using a rainwater gauge, planting native plants, reducing lawn space with outdoor decking, and installing drip irrigation.

Arguably, the first thing people notice about your home is the outdoor space. It is also a beautiful extension of your home if you are entertaining family and friends. Try incorporating your style by creating an attractive new outdoor area!