Landscaping makes your home look more attractive and welcoming, but it can be very expensive. If you don't want to spend thousands transforming your yard, follow these tips to landscape on a budget  this spring. The result will look like a million bucks, but it won't cost anywhere near it.
A well thought-out plan can help you save on landscaping. Take a stroll through your neighborhood for inspiration, taking note of features you like. Then, take a look at your own yard, considering sun areas, shade areas, slopes and other factors that may influence what you can plant and build. Put your ideas on paper, then build your budget off this wish list.
Stretch Your Landscaping Dollars
When it comes to design elements, there are many ways to save on landscaping:
- Buy young plants that may take a few seasons to reach their full potential.
- Invest in perennials that will come back every year. Some can even be divided or duplicate themselves.
- Ask your neighbors to split their mature plants with you, or offer to trade if you are growing different varieties.
- Look for end-of-season plant sales. It may be too late for the plants to bloom, but you will get a lovely surprise next year.
- Purchase drought-tolerant plants to save on watering.
- Use salvaged objects to create yard art and planters.
Buy Plants, Not Seeds
Plants are usually more expensive than seeds, so logic would dictate you should buy seeds to stay within your budget, right? Wrong.
Growing plants from seeds is often more difficult than it sounds. Instead of just sprinkling them around the garden and hoping they grow, seeds need to be cultivated. That means spending lots of money on soil, plant food, lighting supplies and other products. In the end, buying everything you need to start plants from seeds can be more expensive than just buying plants in the first place.
Get Down and Dirty
Landscaping pros can finish backbreaking jobs in hours or days, use heavy-duty equipment and have top-notch knowledge. They also charge accordingly.
While professional landscapers should be used for intense projects that require a lot of knowledge or muscle, nearly anyone can create a simple garden alone.
Save money this spring by using your green thumb to dig, weed and plant. If you need help, enlist your friends and pay them back in fresh-cut flowers or homegrown vegetables later in the season, or offer to help them with their own spring cleaning !