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Landscaping on a Budget

If your front or backyard is overgrown or is in need of some design help, you can always pay for the services of a landscaping company. However, there are cheaper ways of improving outdoor space that's in need of some TLC. Landscaping on a budget does not mean you have to deal with a second-rate yard. There are plenty of ways you can create a beautiful and attractive outdoor space without breaking the bank. Take a look at these budget landscaping ideas for some inspiration.

Tips and Ideas

Take a look at these tips and ideas to make your yard look great!

Use easy-to-maintain ground cover. A healthy-looking lawn is an attractive feature. However, you also need to think of the costs and effort of upkeep. Lots of grass might not be for you if you live in a hot, dry climate or don’t enjoy mowing the lawn on a regular basis. Grass also needs to be watered regularly and treated with potentially costly weed prevention solutions.

Ground covering plants are an attractive and increasingly common alternative to a traditional lawn. They also often fast-growing so it will not take too long for before you reach sufficient coverage. Plants like Lamium and thyme are ideal. These are often quite inexpensive and can be cost-effective solutions for dealing with hard-to maintain areas.

Apply the clusters of planters strategy. Add some visual interest to your outdoor area. All you need to do is group planters together for added depth and height. Terra cotta planters are inexpensive and classic. Try grouping three or four planters of varying dimensions in the corner of your yard. Plant different flowers and creeping plants. Ensure that you provide enough interest to draw attention to varying levels. Some plants should be tall and straight, while others are smaller and more bush-like.

Use your community mulch. Many towns and cities offer free mulch to residents. They often collect tree cuttings in spring and fall and turn them into mulch. It is often available for pickup in public gardens or city parks.

Applying garden mulch helps your soil and plants retain moisture as it contributes to slow water evaporation. It also provides nutrients, giving an attractive finishing touch to your flower beds. Try giving your city's parks department a call to find out if they are running a project. They will help you with information, let you know whether you qualify and can tell you the address of where to pick it up.

Be aware though that you might need to bring a shovel and a pickup with you to get your mulch home. It usually doesn’t come bagged. It is worth going to the trouble though as a bag of mulch can be pricey, and you will need several bags.

Water Conservation

It is common to think that landscaping on a budget is all about getting cheap plants. Let’s see how water conservation can impact your finances.

Choose perennial plants. You have to water your plants. Try to pick drought-tolerant perennials when selecting plants for your yard, so you save on water costs. Perennials have the added benefit of coming up year after year and will save you money compared to buying annuals that only live for 12 months.

Harvest rainwater. A rain barrel attached to a downspout on your house or garage will allow you to collect rainwater from your rooftop for use in watering your landscape plantings.

Use grey water. Grey water, which is water that comes out of sinks, baths, showers, laundry, and dishwashers is an effective strategy to apply water-wise landscaping. You can capture some of your grey water by hand using buckets, but a more sophisticated system will require plumbing reconfigurations.

One straightforward water-collection method would be to simply to collect warm-up water that might otherwise go down the drain while you are waiting for the hot water to reach the faucet or shower. Similarly, if you are running the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, consider collecting it in a container and using it to water plants.

Mow your lawn high. Leaving your grass at higher height will result in the development of a deeper and more extensive root system. This deeper root system will more efficiently use water and be more tolerant to drought. You will still need to water your lawn, but you will reduce its water requirements.

Other water conservation ideas include using a rain water gauge, planting native plants, reducing lawn space with outdoor decking, and installing drip irrigation.

Arguably, the first thing people notice about your home is the outdoor space. It is also a beautiful extension of your home if you are entertaining family and friends. Try incorporating your style by creating an attractive new outdoor area!