Any seasoned gardener or landscaper will tell you that landscaping is more than just maintaining a garden and planting shrubs and trees. A lot of careful thought, planning, and hard work go into it. They will also tell you that a well-designed garden does not come cheap. However, improving your lawn and backyard does not need to break the bank. Whether you’re working on your landscape design in Utah or Florida, here are a few alternatives to updating your garden on a budget.
Go for low-maintenance ground cover
Fresh grass sod can cost anywhere between 15 to 35 cents per square foot and even twice the price if they are installed by professionals. Some cheaper and easier alternatives to covering the ground are natural ground perennials (like creeping periwinkle, violets, and pansies), bishop’s weed, and thyme.
Start with young shrubs and plants
The only difference between a mature plant and a young one is the price. Most people buy full-grown plants for their aesthetic appeal. However, if you want to save up on costs, getting a younger and smaller plant will yield savings of up to $50, depending on the plant you get. For example, a 3.25-gallon crape myrtle only sells for $20 compared to a full-grown, 10.25-gallon myrtle at $70.
Wait for the season’s clearance sales
Like any other retail establishment, nurseries also need to make room for new supplies. Plants that did not sell the past season are put on clearance sale. The markdowns can get you up to 90% savings depending on when you buy. Price cuts usually start at 10 to 20% at the end of each season, but if you wait until you’re about halfway into the next season, you’ll get them at a 50% to 90% discounted price.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a good deal since most managers are eager to dispose of the items and make money off them. Just be sure to check the plant’s stems if they’re still green. As long as the stems are healthy, they are salvageable.
Perennials are relatively cheaper compared to annuals. They are also more practical since they become a permanent feature of your garden. They are ideal for “dividing and conquering” your landscape. All you need to do is uproot and replant the new blooms that are produced and place them in another part of your garden. A $10 perennial can save you $40 if you divide and replant its blooms in different locations four times a year.
Use the community’s mulch
Most cities and communities have free mulch ready for pick-up in local parks and public gardens. You may call your city’s parks department to ask if they have a mulch program in your location. Those who take advantage of this free mulch program save tens of thousands of dollars, and that’s because a $10 bag of mulch can typically cover a 20-foot square area.
Support a cause
There are community programs that offer seeds or seedlings in exchange for a membership or a donation. The Arbor Day Foundation, for instance, is one such organization. For a $10 membership fee, you can get ten free trees that will grow well in your area and they will send them your way to plant in your yard.
More than just adding to your property’s curb appeal, a well-maintained landscape gives your home an inviting and welcoming vibe for family and friends will love.