5 Incredibly Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas When You’re On A Budget – Forbes
The living space of your property covers much more than the rooms of your house. With strategic landscaping, you can maximize and beautify your yard. Best of all, updating your home or backyard curb appeal doesn’t have to break the bank. You can really stretch the dollar to cover a lot of outdoor space with low cost landscaping ideas.
What is Landscaping?
Landscaping describes a number of elements that can be tied together to create an inviting yard. Basically, landscaping can be divided into two categories: landscaping and landscaping. Softscaping outlines living features like flowers, shrubs, trees, and more, while hardscaping covers brick walkways, rocky xeriscapes, patios, and more.
The best landscaping designs strike a balance between soft and hard landscaping. The most savvy homeowners strike a balance between cost and impact by incorporating inexpensive landscaping ideas. One of the best ways to save money with landscaping is to DIY when possible.
Nationally, the average cost to landscape a 1/4 acre yard is $10,000, which includes professional design, grading, grass seed, plants and landscaping. Costs can increase significantly from there. But, when it comes to how to control the landscaping budget, there are plenty of ways to save money while still achieving great curb appeal.
1. Refresh or add mulch beds
Mulch adds some visual intrigue to any yard at a relatively low cost. The national average for 3 cubic yards of mulch delivered and installed is $275, but you can save by doing it yourself. For small spaces, even a few bags of mulch under $4 one piece may do the trick.
Beyond the aesthetic benefits of breaking up landscaping and helping to control weeds or grass, mulch has real benefits for your garden. It is particularly useful for garden beds or around the base of young trees, as it can help retain the proper moisture that plants need to thrive while insulating the roots. For you, this can mean savings on your water bill.
The most important thing to keep in mind with mulch is that it’s best to replace it every year, but the benefits of having mulch can make this DIY job worth it.
2. Plant perennials for annual fun
Buy once, enjoy year after year: that’s the beauty of flowers and perennials. Although there is an upfront cost to plant seedlings or blooming flowers, opting for perennial varieties will give you plenty of colorful options in just about any climate. Over time, many perennials will spread out to fill more space, which can be a great way to add a splash of color.
To really save money in your garden, consider starting flowers and plants from seeds rather than seedlings. For example, a single Shasta Daisy plant (a drought-tolerant flower) may cost more than $10but you can buy a 300 seed packet of Shasta Daisy for less than $5.
Not all seeds are likely to thrive, but even with a less than green thumb, most gardeners will manage to get some of these flowers to bloom.
3. Improve the borders around your patio
If you have an existing patio, you can increase its visual impact while minimizing the lawn space you are responsible for watering by adding a landscaping buffer. The least expensive option is to dig a trench around the existing patio and fill it with mulch. Further afield, landscaping stones can add a more refined touch, with the added bonus that they don’t need to be replaced regularly, like mulch.
Available in a variety of sizes and colors, landscaping stones can be less expensive than you imagine. Decomposed granite can be available for only $25 per ton, popular gravel is $30 to $60 per ton and cost of smooth river rocks $80 to $250 per ton. There may be additional charges for delivery and installation costs on average of $50 to $100 per hour around the country.
However, with the lasting impact it will have on your yard landscaping, adding rock is a relatively inexpensive landscaping project that will pay off year after year.
4. Grow native plants that won’t increase your water bill
Spending time researching plants native to your area can save you money, while helping the environment. The main reason for this is that native plants are naturally compatible with the rainfall in your area and therefore you don’t have to spend so much money on watering the plants. According to the US Department of Agriculture, native plants also minimize the need for fertilizer, help prevent erosion, and control the local ecosystem.
Especially in drought-prone parts of the country, this is a strategic approach that can keep your landscaping vibrant even in times of drought. There are benefits to using native plants in areas that experience extreme cold, lots of rain, or other geographically unique conditions that may not be suitable for all plant types.
When examining native plants, broaden your search beyond flowers. Other native varieties to explore include native ground cover, ornamental grasses, shrubs and trees.
5. Incorporate Xeriscaping Elements
Developed in drought-prone Colorado, xeriscaping is an attractive landscaping option for anyone looking to reduce their water usage. Elaborate xeriscaping designs that use lots of landscaping components can work up to $24,000 for a full yard. However, xeriscaping doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing to reap its benefits. By incorporating some xeriscape elements into a part of your landscaping, you can significantly reduce watering costs while still achieving a low-maintenance yard.
A common misconception about xeriscaping is that no greenery is allowed. In fact, turf and plants are among the “seven principles of xeriscape design” because they help reduce erosion. Other suggested xeriscaping elements include mulch, sand, landscaping rock, concrete, and even water features.
A few inexpensive and easy DIY xeriscaping projects include adding a gravel walkway, creating a dry stream bed with river rocks, and expanding the mulched area of your garden. These landscaping ideas can be beautiful for your garden and good for the environment.
When to Call a Landscaper
Whereas landscaping can be a DIY project, that doesn’t mean it should be. Consider hire a landscaper if you don’t have the time, the right tools or the inclination to do your landscaping work yourself. This can be beneficial if you have a particularly large yard or are unsure what kind of maintenance it needs.