7 Ways to Bring Vitality Back to Your Refuge
An aesthetic and tastefully landscaped yard does more for your property than just making it look good. Landscaping can increase your home's value significantly, so whether you're just looking to come home to something fabulous everyday or you're thinking of the time when you may sell, great landscaping is definitely the way to go.
But there's one problem. It can be painfully expensive, and you're on a budget. Professional landscaping can cost thousands of dollars. According to Money Magazine, a high-end landscape contractor will charge at least $5,000 to remodel a typical compact suburban front yard. But there are plenty of ways you can successfully get the job done without compromising your bank account. All you need is some patience, a little time and a bit of ingenuity and you'll be amazed by how much you can do with your own two hands.
Here's how in 7 ways:
1-Make a Plan for your Oasis
According to Better Homes and Gardens, kick off your yard renovation by planning ahead. You'll be more likely to stay on task if you know precisely what you want and then write it down, or sketch it even. This way you can figure out exactly what you need and where you want to put it, helping you avoid frivolous extras and wasting money.
As you plan, think about what you want and do some research. Bookstore, websites, and even walks around the neighborhood can be great sources for inspiration. When you have a vision, tally up the landscaping expenses required to make it a reality, and from there you can either move forward or revamp your plans if it falls outside the parameters of your budget.
If you really want frugal landscaping, get well acquainted with doing it yourself. Working outdoors, you will get dirty-but, consider the money you're saving. This will serve as a reminded of why you're out there to begin with and you will gain the satisfaction that comes from a little sweat equity. Do keep in mind, however, that some jobs might be too complex for you to tackle on your own. Think beforehand about what you can and cannot do, and when you may need to call in a pro.
3-Stay in the Budget
Whatever your budget is, one of the first things you should focus on is improving the soil and adding trees. If your house is surrounded by hard clay or sand, no amount of money you spend on plants is going to make those plants grow. Consider compost. The US Environmental Protection Agency described compost as a natural, organic way to improve the quality and fertility of your soil. And if you can't make your own compost, buying it in bulk can save you money.
4-Conserve your Resources
Make use of what you already have. If you preserve existing plants and trees, you'll save yourself the money it costs to establish all new planting. Take the time and educate yourself on plant care, pruning and gardening, and in addition, get well acquainted with which areas of your property are more exposed to the sun. This will ensure that you buy the right plants for your conditions.
5-Shop for Deals
Shop around and buy off-season. Better Homes and Gardens says that when you buy is as important as where you buy. If you have a project that requires lumber, buying in winter is oftentimes cheaper. You can also save money on trees, shrubs, perennials, and more by buying late in the season. Also, consider avenues other than the nursery or hardware store when it comes to where you can buy. Consider online or catalog resources in order to expand your choices.
6-Divide and Conquer
When you're ready to begin working, do so in phases. Divide and conquer your yard piece by piece by determining priority areas and giving yourself only manageable tasks. By doing so, you'll also be able to budget better. Most homeowners don't have the cash lying around to complete entire tasks at one time, so by spreading out the workload, it also distributes the spending.
7-Size Matters... When it Comes to the Plants you Acquire
The Landscaping Network says that one way to save thousands on your landscape project is to reduce plant sizes. It depends upon the species, but smaller plants can double in size in two years, in turn giving you more plant for your money.
Practice makes Perfect
When you decide to overhaul your yard, arguably one of the most important things you need to have is patience. Shrubs, plants, flowers and trees take time to mature. Annuals die and roots dry out. Landscaping is a never-ending project. If you spend time outside on a regular basis and focus on these seven tips, you can better manage the task of upkeep and ensure that the money and time you have spent on your garden and yard isn't wasted.
Better Homes and Gardens: Landscaping Projects
Landscaping Network: Landscape Design
Money Magazine: 4 Ways to Save on Landscaping