Now that spring is here you’re probably excited to start using your backyard more, whether to relax in, for playtime with the kids or pets, or for entertaining. However, if you’ve been busy renovating and styling the interior of your home over the last 12 months or so, and haven’t been focused on your yard area at all, it could all seem a little overwhelming. *This post contains affiliate links and/or sponsored content.
Nevertheless there are some simple, yet effective things you can do to give your outdoor areas a face lift without having to invest a heap of money. Here are some top tips you can follow over the coming weeks or months.
Regular Lawn Care
One of the key elements of having a beautifully landscaped property is lawncare. By tending to it regularly, you’ll help the grass to stay healthy and green.
There are numerous ways to keep your lawn in good condition. For starters, simply mow it regularly. This helps both the grass itself and the soil below, as long as you don’t cut off more than a third of the blades at one time. Of course, watering is essential too, particularly during the hot times of year, when it often rains less and moisture evaporates quickly.
Other jobs to add to your to-do list include aerating and fertilizing once or twice per year each, and raking up leaves so they can’t form a mat over the lawn that suffocates it. If you can’t fit in enough time to tend to your lawn yourself or don’t have the skills for certain jobs, remember that you can outsource the work without breaking the bank. For example, companies such as the popular TruGreen lawn care can keep your grass looking good for an affordable price. Of course there are organic options as well.
Spend Less Money on Plants
Another way to cut costs and still get your backyard in shape is to spend less money on plants each year. Divide bulbs in your garden so you get more plants without spending a cent, or get cuttings from friends and family members in your area and grow greenery from there. By choosing either of these options, not only do you increase the plant life in your yard for free, but you also know you’re planting things that thrive in your area and won’t die off quickly.
If you do want to invest in new plants, be patient and wait for good deals at the end of spring. Many lawn and garden centers begin marking down plants around the second week of June but there is still plenty of time left to plant an enjoy them. I recently purchased several perennials on clearance and planted two window boxes for less than the price of what it would have been to fill one of the boxes at the beginning of the season. You can choose discounted, less-than-perfect-looking yet healthy plants as long as they don’t show any signs of disease. Often times they are simply root bound from being in pots too long or they just need some pruning and fertilizer. You might want to avoid buying large, fully-mature shrubs and trees as these are expensive. Instead, buy smaller plants and give them time to grow.
Develop a Compost Heap
A compost heap is something all gardeners should have because it’s helpful in a variety of ways. For example, when you develop your own fresh compost, you can use this to feed your plants and lawn, rather than having to pay for commercial plant food. Plus, compost helps greenery retain water more effectively, so you don’t have to do so much watering.
Natural compost developed in the backyard is free. All you have to supply is food scraps from your kitchen, plus some other organic materials like shredded paper, dry leaves, lawn clippings, a little bit of water, and some soil. Of course there are drawbacks to composting, so be sure to research the topic before jumping right in.
Get Affordable Inspiration and Ideas
Some people spend thousands of dollars hiring landscape gardeners or designers to come up with plans for their backyards. However, you can save yourself this money and still create a classic, beautiful yard by doing your own research. Check out blogs, websites, forums, social media sites online, or read magazines and books for the latest news and inspiration. As you start to look around you’ll be amazed by how much helpful information is shared these days.
Free Printable Garden Planner Shifting Roots
If you want to save more money over the coming months but still enjoy the benefits of a beautiful yard, it’s possible to get what you need on a budget. Follow the suggestions listed above, and you’re sure to have outdoor areas that look their best before summer is over.
Don’t forget that you can still enjoy gardening late into fall and you can start planting bulbs and perennials that will reward you with a beautiful show next spring.
Best of luck with your backyard gardening on a budget! Happy gardening season!