November 28 2012
landscaping cost

Cost Saving Tips

Plan Now for Less Work in the Spring and Summer – and less expense!

So you would like to improve your landscaping but you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend. There are things you can do to improve your lawn and other landscaped areas around your home without breaking the bank. We give you several ideas here.

First—stop spending money on weed killers. Letting some weeds grow creates diversity, as well as giving bugs something else to eat besides your prize roses. Pull the weeds that are unattractive or have stickers or partners but let a few of them stay.  Many landscape experts believe that diversity in plant life maintains a healthier soil and lawn.

Have you heard the term, hard scaping? This refers to placing inanimate objects in your lawn and garden that look nice, take up space, but do not require watering, pruning, fertilizing, etc. In other words, once you have installed a stone walkway, some brick pavers, a fountain or a bird bath, that area will not need continuous labor and expense like green spaces do. Put pea rock or gravel in a square or circular area about 6 to 8 feet in diameter, and outline it with bricks or edging. Sit one large potted plant in the middle and you’re done!

Capturing rainwater is another way to save money that seems obvious but few people do it.

You can also purchase and install cheaper plants and shrubs. Your landscaping professional can tell you which plants and shrubs cost the least and which ones require the least amount of work and products to maintain. For example, a potted cactus surrounded by pea rock.

Trade cuttings to save expense. If you don’t currently converse with your neighbors on your street, this gives you a reason. Knock on the door or leave a note in their mailbox and ask if they’d like to trade cuttings of plants and shrubs. We all pull small newly sprouted plants and even trees out of the ground to toss them away, when we have an overgrown area. Well, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That new spider plant or jasmine that you already have several of and plan to toss away could be a new plant for someone else! There is a root powder you can get from your landscaper that helps cuttings take root and grow.

Another cost cutter for the lawn and garden: Hire yourself. Get the family engaged in a beautification project. Make it a contest by giving each of them an area of the front lawn or backyard to improve.  Give them a limit to spend, and see what they do with it!

Last but not least, check with the city where you live. Municipalities sometimes give away things like mulch, tree cuttings, sand or soil, and other landscaping materials. Look into it and you may be surprised what you can get for free or cheap. Happy hunting!