10 tips to get the most from your landscaping budget

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landscaping budget

Credit: Tooga Creation n °: 110443467

If you’ve found yourself flipping through the pages of a home and gardening magazine while you dream of creating an inviting landscape for your own property — one that inspires ohsand ahhs friends and neighbors (or at least one who does you want to spend more time outdoors), you are not alone. Taking the time to properly organize your property can be a rewarding company, but it is not necessarily an inexpensive or economical activity. Professional landscaping can cost thousands of dollars, and that’s before you’ve even bought the plants.

To avoid the high price tag, you can opt for a DIY landscaping project instead. Before embarking on any work, however, be sure to do your research and determine the specific types of plants and landscaping that will be most appropriate and durable for your property and the region of the country. This extra step will prevent you from wasting money unnecessarily. Here are some of the additional ways to stretch your landscaping budget as much as possible.

Start with a plan.

Just because you aren’t hiring a landscaper doesn’t mean you should ignore advance planning altogether. In fact, not having a professional to guide your project is all the more reason to engage in careful planning up front.

“Think carefully about how you would like to use your outdoor space or how you already use it: do you need a path to the front door? »Asks Mary Jane Duford, gardener blogger and creator of House for harvest, who has built several properties on a budget. “What about an outdoor seating area? Would a privacy hedge or shade trees make a big difference? Get out there and start dreaming about your outdoor space, so you can come up with a solid plan, ”she adds.

Once you have drafted your plans, start researching the costs. Knowing roughly the price to pay for various items in your project can help you eliminate wishlist items that just don’t fit on budget, says Duford.

Choose long-lived structural plants.

While garden centers are often teeming with rows of bright and colorful annuals, which can be incredibly tempting, a landscaping budget is often best geared towards long-lived plants that will make an impact year after year, says Duford. .

“This includes evergreens, shade trees and ornamental perennials,” says Duford. “Start with tall trees, hedge plants, and any mass planting of perennials such as rows of ornamental grasses. You can fill the extra spaces with flowering perennials, annuals, and potted plants in future seasons. “

When it comes to buying perennials in particular, you can also get a discount if you buy them at specific times of the year.

“One of the smartest things to save money on a landscaping project is to get perennials instead of annuals, especially in the fall when nurseries have discounts. important on their perennials “, explains Anton Schwarz, CEO of Lawn maintenance guides. “Plant them once and take the opportunity to come back season after season,” he adds.

Buy smaller versions of plants.

Yet another point about buying plants and saving money: Garden centers usually rate plants based on the size of their flowerpot. While tall plants (those that come in large flowerpots or in a ball and burlap) can have an immediate impact on your landscape, they are usually very expensive. Instead, you might want to go for smaller versions of the same plants, which tend to be a lot cheaper.

“Although the impact on the landscape is not as dramatic, the younger plants generally root quite well in the surrounding soil,” suggests Duford. “It is not uncommon for small plants to grow faster than those planted at a larger height when given proper care as they become established.”

Plan your growth.

While this might not seem like a trick to saving money right now, planning for growth is one approach that will ultimately save you money.

“It’s important to understand what you are buying and how quickly it will grow,” says Warren Byington of Backyard Brothers. “Plan for the future by avoiding overcrowding. While things may seem spaced out and even sparse at first, plant according to specific spacing guidelines, giving the plants time to grow and flourish. portfolio, long term. “

Go native.

Buying plants that are native to your area or region – that is, they have been growing there for thousands of years rather than being imported from other parts of the world – is another way to make sure your landscaping money is well spent and goes beyond.

“Because they are used to the local climate, native plants tend to be easier to grow,” says Haeley Giambalvo, creator of the site. Indigenous courses. “Native plants are more resilient, drought tolerant, and require no additional fertilization, saving you money on watering and care, as well as replacing dead plants.”

Do a soil test.

This is an additional step that will pay dividends. Performing a soil test before you plant anything in your garden helps ensure that the plants you select have the right conditions to survive.

“Prepare the soil enough to support the load, making sure to match its acidity and nutrient balance with the plants you hope to grow,” says Ronnie Collins, creator of Electro garden tools.

Soil test kits can be purchased at big box stores such as Lowe’s for as low as $ 12, and they will help you determine the pH level of the soil as well as identify any nutrient deficiencies. Meters that test soil pH are also available on Amazon for around $ 12. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these simple home soil tests don’t always provide the most accurate results, Collins explains. You may need to spend a bit more for a professional lab test of your soil.

“Lab tests typically take one to two weeks to get results, but they’re very accurate,” Collins adds. “You can order different testing options, depending on your budget. General health tests cost from $ 50 to $ 100, and nutrient or pH tests for gardening typically cost around $ 75.”

Try DIY drip irrigation.

Irrigation systems for flower beds and feature plants are usually a major part of landscaping projects. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to cut costs here, too, says Duford.

“It’s a task accessible to DIY homeowners,” says Duford. “Most garden centers offer drip irrigation line rollers, and DIY drip irrigation kits are available online. Many types of drip irrigation can be installed with just a few portable tools. . There are also some great video tutorials available for hands-on homeowners to follow, ”she adds.

Reduce mulching costs.

If you spend a lot on mulch throughout the year, consider doing a bit of networking to dramatically lower your costs, says Michael Dean, co-founder of Pool search, a company that provides expert advice on pool construction, maintenance and general landscaping.

“Try contacting local landscaping departments, as well as your local municipality, and ask if they have any wood chips you could collect,” suggests Dean. “If there are landscaping workers in your area, just approaching them and letting them know that you would be happy to take wood chips from them can have you freeing up mulch in no time. time. “

In case you haven’t received the memo: Landscapers often have excess mulch that they’re willing to part with. “Any arborist or landscaping company that cuts trees is likely to have excess wood chips that they will be happy to dump,” Dean said.

Another option to get free wood chips is ChipDrop, a service that is active across North America and connects arborists who have excess wood chips with gardeners who need them.

Completely remove the mulch.

According to Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, a lawn care application.

“This is a one-time initial investment and adds beauty to the lawn and landscape,” says Clayton. “It never needs to be fixed or redone next season.”

Opting for river rock instead of mulch is apparently a growing trend across the country. Previously, only homeowners living in warmer climates used such materials to keep costs down, but more recently those living in colder parts of the country are also making the switch, Clayton says.

“People are just tired of wasting money year after year on mulch, straw or other organic material to put in their gardens,” Clayton continues.

Expect to spend between $ 75 and $ 100 a tonne on river rock, Clayton adds. You’ll want to research commercial landscaping suppliers in your area for this type of gardening item, as big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s typically don’t carry one.

“The river rock will have to be locally sourced, but most parts of the country have their local suppliers who mine the river rock and make it available in bulk,” Clayton explains.

Find out what’s free.

Look around you in your neighborhood or your community in general. You will find that there is always someone moving, expanding their home, or adding a pool, deck, or other feature to their yard. Meaning: It’s not uncommon for landscaping to be uprooted and donated, says Byington of Backyard Brothers.

“Scan local markets and use community connections,” says Byington. “You might also want to offer to dig up the landscaping and transport it to your yard. So you can make local connections and friends.”


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