If there’s anything that can make a house look like a million bucks, its a well-groomed lawn.
Incredible-looking landscaping has been the envy of home-owners since the days of castles. Kings and queens would appoint entire teams of servants to tend to the gardens simply so they could be surrounded by its natural beauty.
That’s why today high class establishments like golf courses and resorts will spend thousands on making sure every blade of grass is perfect. It makes their patrons feel like royalty!
While some people may see landscaping as just another household chore, those that embrace it will not only enjoy the dividends of its beauty for years to come. On top of that, they can also give themselves a meaningful hobby as well as add tons of value to their home.
Here’s how to save a few bucks on the cost of landscaping a yard and still be the envy of the neighborhood!
1. Learn to DIY
Landscaping isn’t that hard. People have been doing it themselves, and that’s why you can totally do it yourself if you just give it a try! Not only is it a good way to improve your curb appeal, but it can also help you burn calories as well as give you something constructive to do with your time. The DIY network has a ton of great projects you can try.
2. Put your kids to work
Need someone to rake your leaves? Let your kids (and their friends) do it. You’ll be surprised how far $5 or $10 (or a large pizza) will go with a group of pre-teen boys.
3. Cut your own lawn
Angies List estimates most lawns cost somewhere between $35 and $40 to cut with a professional service. That’s almost $960 for the season!
Instead, why not cut the lawn yourself and help save your family budget? Though a reliable mower may set you back a few hundred or even thousand up front, you’ll quickly make it all back in a year or two.
4. Skip yard fertilizer services
Often you’ll spend more in a month that you will all quarter if you just spread the fertilizer yourself instead. And it will take you half the time it takes to mow the yard.
5. Fertilize naturally
If you’d rather skip spending $60 for a bag of fertilizer altogether, why not let nature do it nautrally? All you have to do is let the mower mulch your grass clippings as you go. The chemicals in the grass blades will naturally feed the soil and help cultivate your lawn to grow even more lush. That’s how golf courses do it!
6. Water less often
If you water your lawn, only do it a few times per week. A lot of people make the mistake of watering the lawns every single day. But when you do this, it doesn’t allow the grass roots to grow as deep because there is always water available on the surface. Instead, give it a day or two in-between so that the roots have to work to find the water.
Bonus tip: Also don’t water during the hottest part of the day. The water will have a higher chance of evaporating more quickly, and not getting put to use. Instead, water in the early morning or late evening when its cooler.
7. Get water at a discount
If you have sprinklers, install an irrigation meter. This charges you a lower rate for water than you normally would get because it excludes the cost of the sewer.
8. Don’t water when it rains
Install a rain sensor in your sprinkler system. A rain sensor will send a signal back to your sprinkler system and shut it off automatically when its raining (since Mother Nature is already watering your lawn).
9. Keep your lawnmower in tip-top shape
Just like your car, if you’re good to your mower, it will be good to you right back. Make a schedule to regularly perform blade sharpening, oil changes, air filter replacement, etc.
10. Mow taller
Leaving more grass not only makes your lawn look like a silky, green blanket, but helps the grass grow more thick.
11. Burn instead of bag
If your town permits it, burn your leaves instead of bagging them or arranging for a special pickup. Just be sure to do it in an open area far away from your home (or any other structures).
12. Cover young shrubs
Keep young trees and shrubs covered in the Spring when there is a frost alert. Covering your plants will give them a better fighting chance to survive the cold before their roots are deep and branches are thick.
13. Use stone instead of mulch for flower beds
Mulch looks great for about one season. Then it quickly loses its color and rots. That means you’ll just end up ordering more year after year. Stone, on the other hand, always looks just as good as they day you bought it, so there will never be any need to replace it.
14. Buy tools off-season
If you have to buy an outdoor tool, do it in the fall when its off season and will likely be on sale.
15. Stabilze your gasoline
Put stabilizer in your gasoline-powered tools over the winter to keep them working better for the Spring.
16. Use composite
Build your deck using composite materials. Though they cost a little more up-front, they will never rot, need staining, or replaced.
17. Shade your home
Plant trees that will naturally shade your house and help reduce energy loss.
18. Plant perennials
Unlike annuals (which only last one season), perennials will come back looking stronger and better every year. That means you only pay for them once!
19. Buy your plants off-season
Get a bargain on perennials after their blooming period has passed. For example: Buy azaleas in the summer time after their bloom in spring has passed.
20. Use organic waste
Compost organic waste such as old food or coffee grounds to help your trees and shrubs grow better.
21. Start your plants off small
They will cost less to start and grow plenty big in just a few short years.
Going for a blue theme this year instead of yellow? No problem! Fix up or paint over your old outdoor furniture and pots to give them a fresh look that you can re-use for another season.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr