Keeping your yard green and groomed can be quite the costly task. As with most tasks, a little bit of planning can lead to significant savings without sacrificing the quality of your yard.
Before you can save money you need to identify the purpose and goals of your yard. How do you want to use your yard? Do you want your lawn to just be a place for the kids and dog to play? Or are you trying to win awards, stand out to your neighbors, and are exemplify that botanical garden look? That decision determines your true path and how much money you’ll end up spending.
Regardless of what path you choose, there are various ways you can save money on landscaping:
1. Recycle Scraps Into Compost
Compost is the cream of the crop in money-saving landscaping tips for three reasons:
- Compost is free.
- Compost is the use of organic materials that would normally be thrown away or left to rot.
- Compost has multiple uses.
It’s one of the best things you can use in a garden or lawn. Take your banana peels, apple cores, and other food scraps and throw them in a pile (or in a composting device). Add a little bit of water, and wait. The result is what many landscapers call black gold due to the variety of uses for the product.
You can use compost as a soil amendment instead of packaged top soil from the local garden center. You can put a few inches of compost down as mulch instead of buying bagged pine mulch. You can even sprinkle compost over your lawn and let it soak in and break down over time. Your lawn should look healthier as time goes on and you’ll save a ton of money.
2. Pay for Quality Fertilizer
When my wife and I finally decided to throw in the towel on fighting off weeds in our yard earlier this year, we were absolutely shocked at the cost of having a company spray the yard. We got a quote of $38 to spray fertilizer and weed killer on our front and side yards. That may not seem bad until you realize our backyard is much bigger than our front yard, and our front yard is pretty small. I could instead buy fertilizer at the home improvement store for $25 and cover the entire yard.
We were about to give in to the high price and just accept the cost as part of home ownership.
Then we happened upon a neighbor whose yard was immaculate, green, and healthy. We stopped and asked how exactly they managed to keep their yard looking so great. They recommended a fertilizer that couldn’t be purchased at the big box home improvement store, but instead could be had at the small, local garden center.
We decided to get with this route instead of hiring the company to spray the yard. The fertilizer was slightly more expensive than the stuff at the big box store, but the effect has been dramatic. The neighbors also had a fertilizing schedule designed to best prepare your yard to fight off weeds throughout the year. That’s definitely something you can’t get from the hourly paid workers at other stores. Our yard quickly developed a deep healthy green color and the weed problem was dramatically reduced.
Not all expensive products work, but in this case the fertilizer was worth it.
3. Use Plants Native to Your Region
You make your gardening life more difficult when you attempt to landscape with plants that are foreign to your region of the country.
Not sure which plants are native and which are foreign? As with the fertilizer, it helps to know a local resource that can guide your choices. Ask around at your local gardening store or to a green thumb neighbor.
Plus, by shopping at local small businesses, you support your community. That’s better than sending your dollars to a faceless mega corporation based in some other state.
4. Repair and Repaint Fencing Before Replacing
We have a neighbor whose privacy fence started to warp at the bottom. The warping wasn’t on every board, but there were a handful that were almost to a 90 degree angle from the ground. Not so great for keeping things in or out of your yard!
Instead of replacing giant sections of fence, they were smart and simply took some screws and a power drill and pushed the bent boards back in to place.
If that hadn’t worked, they would have tried buying replacement boards to swap out one warped board at a time. Instead of ignoring the problem, they found a frugal solution.
The same can be said for a fence with faded paint. If at least some of the wood is in good condition, don’t tear everything down and start over. That’s very expensive. Instead get some paint brushes and outdoor paint, and go to town. A fresh coat of paint can make an old fence look brand new and even add some protection.
Do you have any awesome money-saving landscaping tips to add to these ideas?
(photo credit: Gregs Landscaping)