Landscaping on a budget does not mean settling for an untidy backyard that is so embarrassing you are not able to invite friends over for a BBQ. Using this guide you can learn how to cut costs on your landscaping without cutting corners. The only corners you will be cutting are those of your new beautiful lawn.
• Teach yourself some basic gardening skills
In order to get the most out of your landscaping it is necessary to learn the basic principles of gardening:
- How to water plants
- How to feed plants
- How to propagate your plants (increase their number) by dividing or taking cuttings
Once you learn these three basic gardening skills the benefit to your garden will be manifold. If you fail to learn them no amount of landscaping advice will improve your garden.
• Low-cost lawns
Before deciding on which type of lawn is best for you do a simple soil test which can be purchased online. This will tell you the Ph level of your soil and therefore you can understand which type of plants and lawns are most suitable and will require the least amount of fertilizers. It is better to grow a garden that suits your soil rather than engage in an ongoing battle to make your soil suit your garden. Starting a lawn from seed is also a cheaper option than from sod. It will take longer however it is a much more budget-friendly option. It is also important not to overcut your lawn as this will affect its survival rates and therefore your budget if it needs to be replaced. Find out the optimum height of the lawn you have selected.
• Shop around
The cost of plants can vary dramatically between nurseries, supermarkets and online. However the quality of the plants must also be taken into account and whilst you may get some varieties for much cheaper online their survival rates may be much lower than buying from a nursery. There are some ways that you can reduce the cost of the plants you purchase. Check which varieties are cheapest in which season and also avoid buying newly released varieties as they will be more expensive initially. The price will come down eventually and thereby waiting can save you some money on the budget.
• Avoid over-planting
Remember that as plants grow and mature they will take over more space within your garden. Therefore it is important not to overplant as this is both unnecessary financially but also may lead to overcrowding when plants start to grow.
• Water conservation
It is not just the cost of individual plants that is important in landscaping. It is also important to know the individual needs of each plant variety as this will greatly affect maintenance costs of your garden. Some plants will require larger amounts of water which will increase your water bill and can prove particularly difficult to maintain during times of water restrictions. By selecting plants which require less water you can save money on irrigation systems.
• DIY garden features
Water features such as fountains and ponds and also features such as patios and borders are often the central pieces of a well-landscaped garden. These are no longer the domain of professionals and are now often simple enough for amateurs to install yet look as if they have been professionally designed. DIY pond and fountain kits are available from garden stores. The most important part is to know your own limits. Brick patios are easier to lay in sand rather than concrete. Do not try and do something beyond your capabilities as this will be reflected in the final piece. Do your research before you attempt to install anything yourself for the greatest chance of success.
• Landscape in phases
Divide your landscaping plan into phases and buy according to each phase. Even on a budget landscaping can still be expensive and by dividing your project into sensible phases you will be able to pay as you go. Take into account factors such as the water needs of each plant as this will impact upon expenditure in the next phases.
• Get some free inspiration
Google is a wonderful starting point for inspiration on your landscaping. You can also look to a number of gardening magazines or books in the local library to get inspiration. With a multitude of pictures and ideas at your disposal it is no longer necessary to pay large amounts to landscape designers to come up with a vision.
• Patience is a virtue
It has already been stated that plants take time to grow. It is therefore important that you exercise patience when landscaping your garden. Rome was not built in a day and likewise your dream landscaped garden will not grow overnight especially if you have divided it into phases in order to satisfy your budgetary needs.