To start off, we’ll share some easy-to-do landscape projects as well as some money-saving landscaping tips:
1. Mix Soil and Homemade Compost
If you’re planting flowers or plants, you may be tempted to buy pricey potting soil. While soil is essential for your plants’ health, you don’t have to use only soil — you can actually save a significant amount by mixing soil with your household’s leftover organic scraps. If you don’t have the time to make and maintain a compost pile, you can alternatively mix in your discarded coffee grounds and the mud- or clay-like dirt in your yard to make your soil go further. You can also save by adding mulch, which also provides plants with nutrition but costs slightly less than potting soil.
2. Begin With Young Shrubs and Plants
When shopping at the nursery, people are typically more drawn to mature flowers and plants due to their visual appeal. However, the only difference between mature and young plants of a given species is their price tag. If you want to save big, pick younger plants. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how fast they grow once they’re planted.
3. Wait Until the End of the Season
Nurseries, like clothing retailers, try to get rid of last season’s trees, shrubs and plants with clearance sales, which are a great opportunity to save money if you’re willing to wait. Keep your eye out at the end of the spring and summer seasons. Even if the flowers and leaves appear unkempt and scorched, they’re perfectly salvageable as long as they have green stems. Just make sure to plant them soon after you buy them and give them sufficient water.
4. Make Your Own Stepping Stones
Stepping stones are a great touch to any yard, but buying stepping stones from the store can cost hundreds of dollars, even for a short path. Instead, consider making a beautiful homemade pathway with the following supplies:
- Quick-setting cement, one 40-pound bag
- A shovel or hand-shovel to mix
- A paint bucket
- A ruler
- Decorative shells or marbles, one bag
- Shallow cardboard boxes, square-shaped
Using your paint bucket, mix your cement with water according to the instructions on the bag. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, pour the cement into your cardboard box. Then, place the shells or marbles in the cement and let it dry. After 24 hours, check the dryness. If it’s set sufficiently, just peel away or cut the cardboard and you’ve got an adorable stepping stone.
5. Pick Perennials
Even though there are a lot of beautiful annual flowers out there, picking flowers that die each year will end up costing you a lot. Instead, consider buying charming perennials like catmint, coreopsis and alstroemeria, which will come back every year with vibrant, colorful flowers and leaves. Although the upfront cost of perennials is a bit higher, remember that they’ll be a permanent fixture in your yard — not a rapidly fading annual plant or flower.
6. Divide and Conquer
Keep in mind that, after a perennial is planted, it will grow for several years. Instead of purchasing new flowers every year, you can just uproot and move the new blooms germinated from the previous year’s perennials. You can save a great amount of money each year by just dividing the blooms and replanting them in different portions.
7. Take Advantage of Free Mulch From Your Community
Communities often offer their residents free mulch — you just have to know where to find it. If you live in a city that picks up tree cuttings during the spring and fall, there’s a good chance that it processes the waste by sticking it into wood chippers to turn it into mulch. Find out if your community has a mulch program. If it does, keep in mind that you might need a truck to transport it back to your home. You’ll probably also need a shovel, as the mulch is not usually bagged.