Everyone loves a well-manicured lawn with the perfect shrubs and surrounding flowers or other plants. Many people dream of their perfect yard to show off and be on full display throughout the summer. A lot of the work required to get there starts in the spring, but unfortunately, there’s a lot going on financially during this time. It’s the end of the school year for kids, vacation planning, paying for sports and other activities, graduations, and so much more.
Thankfully, there are ways to cut down your overall landscaping budget without losing sight of your dream backyard. Preparing ahead of time and planning out your entire yard will give you a head start in determining where you can cut back. We’ve compiled a list of the five best things you can do to save on your budget without losing your perfect landscaping results.
1. Start Your Lawn From Seeds
The first way you can save big on your overall landscaping costs is to grow your grass from seeds rather than trying to lay sod down. Sod gives you the instant appeal of grass, but it’s much more expensive. If you can be patient, seed grass will be cheaper and can look much better in the short-to-medium term than sod. Plus, you can plant grass that is set up for success in your geographic area.
If you can’t wait and need the instant curb appeal of grass, then you can lay sod in the front yard and grow grass from seeds in the backyard. This will save you some money while still not looking like you have a pile of dirt from the street for weeks.
2. Routinely Take Care of Your Grass
If you want to save money long-term, you’ll need to take care of your grass. This means watering it the right amount and not cutting it too low. The higher you let your grass grow, the deeper its root system will be, so you’ll need to water it less. This can save you a significant amount of money over multiple years of landscaping.
Many people think they are helping their grass by attacking every weed they see. Unfortunately, applying weed or crabgrass killers to your lawn costs you more money and makes your grass less healthy. Lawns with some diversity create a healthier monoculture. If this becomes unhealthy, trying to fix it down the road can cost you quite a bit of money. So, you’re essentially paying to get rid of weeds twice, once to buy the chemicals and later to fix the rest of the grass.
3. Reduce Your Lawn Size
It can be less expensive to care for affordable shrubs than to care for your grass. Over the long-term of owning your property, it’s much cheaper and easier to put a patch of mulch into an area than to keep extra grass. Most inexpensive landscaping items can look good in parts of your yard, especially if it’s up against a house, fence, or rock wall. Plus, it will be much more affordable to maintain.
You can slow down the decomposition process with mulch by putting a cheap landscape fabric down and then placing the mulch on top of it. This slows down the time it will take to replace the mulch, making your landscaping look great and saving money at the same time.
4. Find Cheap Plants
The quality will be higher when you buy plants from a nursery instead of a retail store or seeds you find online. This is because they come from a place who have made gardening their specialty. They grow high-quality plants that leave higher-quality seeds. However, you can take the time to sift through seeds online or at your local store to find good plants that will be much more affordable than buying directly from the nursery.
If you need the higher quality plants, you can wait until July or August to buy plants from a nursery that end up going on sale as their season for blooming ends. You can plant these flowers if you’re buying perennials, and when they grow back the following year, you’ll have high-quality plants at a discounted price.
5. Maximize The Use of Annuals
Annuals are more affordable than perennials because they die off every year, making the seeds less expensive. Perennials need to be taken care of so that they aren’t replaced, and the maintenance costs will always be higher, in addition to the initial upfront cost. Buying seed packs of annuals that you think will make your yard more attractive can go a long way to saving on your total landscaping budget.
The annuals that grow back on their own, such as Cleome, make the most budget-friendly choice. If you want to mix in some perennials for “curb appeal,” then it’s best to divide them as you best can every year. Many will regrow in clumps, and you can separate, and replant them around the yard so that the same plant stretches further and prevents you from repurchasing more plants.
Landscaping doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive as many people think. However, if you’re looking to redo your entire landscaping in a single season, it can still cost a pretty penny, even if you’re using these tips to reduce your overall landscaping costs. You might want to consider your best home improvement loan options to help you get it done affordably and then use our tips to keep the costs low over time.