Spring is here, and with it people across the country are heading outside to work on their landscaping. But if you don’t have a huge budget to put into it, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to give your home the gorgeous look you desire. All budgets aside, the landscaping industry rule of thumb is that you should spend between 5% and 15% of the value of your home on its landscaping. That sounds like a huge number, so if that sort of spend isn’t in the cards, you can still do a lot with a little. Here are a few tips for how to landscape your home for less.
Get the most out of what you do spend
You don’t have to break the bank for a beautiful landscape, and a budget job can still be spectacular. But spend your money in the place it will make the most impact. Landscaping experts will advise you to start with the quality of your soil. You can spend a ton on exotic plants, but if your soil isn’t up to the task, it will all wither and die. Buy soil if necessary, and give your grounds a nutrient infusion with a quality compost and mulch. After that, focus on adding trees to your property. They may not have the color explosion of a flower garden, but they bring shade, and they’re sure to last.
Look at ways to get free stuff
Regardless of where you live, you can often find free materials to incorporate in your landscaping job. Check with the city, and you might find access to free or cheap mulch, compost, and even trees. Scout out building and demolition sites for left over stone and brick materials. And make friends with other gardeners. Green thumbs love to share their work, and some may be willing to trade cuttings with you. You’ll also be able to find gardening networks online, where landscapers trade goods and services.
Consider preservation first
To save money, you have to be willing to work with what you have. Look at what trees and plants you can save, and build around them instead of starting from scratch. Take the time to really learn about plant care, so you can keep the strong growth you have thriving. And study your yard’s natural shape. If you understand how the sun impacts your property, and which areas of your yard may end up with standing water after a heavy rainstorm you can purchase plants that will have the best chance to survive the season.
Spread the work out
Your tight budget is something you have to deal with right not, but it may not always be the case. Consider tackling your landscape project in phases, so you can complete aspects you can afford and then move on. You can evaluate the progress of your job as you move through each phase, and decide if you need to adjust anything in your approach. At the same time, plan out your material purchases to take advantage of sale prices. You can often get deals on shrubs, perennials, mulch, soil and even trees if you purchase in the fall. Depending on the climate in your region, your plants may actually benefit from going in the ground in the fall, as it gives the root systems time to grow and settle in before the big heat of summer.
The flashiest, organic gardening store may not be your best bet when you’re working on a tight budget. Take the time to research various outlets for what you need, and pick accordingly. Pay attention to all the information at hand, such as published discounts or coupons, lawn tractor reviews, and bulk purchase deals, and you’re sure to save money.