Landscaping on a Budget
Having a beautiful front and/or backyard doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Landscaping on a budget is possible so long as you make the right choices and invest upfront in a system that provides savings in the long run.
A large, grassy lawn generally requires a lot of water; the easiest way to reduce your costs is to skip having a lawn. If you really want a lawn, however, choose low water grasses that can survive on little or no water for a long time. Low water grass options include Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, Buffalo grass, Bahia grass, and Fescues.
Choose plants that don’t need a lot of water. Succulents, which have thick, fleshy parts that store water, are one option. Succulents include Hens-and-Chicks, Jade Plants, Panda Plants, Ponytail Palms and Snake plants. Don’t think that you’re stuck with a garden that’s mostly brown and green. There are many succulents, such as Christmas Cactus, Crown of Thorns, Pincushion Cactus, and Echeveria, that produce flowers in vibrant colors.
Also, find out what plants are native to your area. Native plants have already adapted to your local climate and soil conditions and won’t need the extra care that non-native plants require.
Time your plant purchases for the sale season. Many retailers, hoping to get rid of their inventory before winter and/or needing to clear space for Christmas trees, have big sales in the fall. Combine sales with coupons for extra savings.
Make sure to join retailers’ garden clubs. Membership to Home Depot’s garden club, for example, is free and gets you special discounts and offers.
Also do some online shopping. There are now a lot of online businesses that sell direct from growers to consumers. Not having to maintain physical locations and cutting out the middleman translates into big savings for the home gardener.
Another way to save on your monthly costs is to do an edible garden. Consider planting strawberry, blueberry, tomato, and leafy lettuce plants. American persimmon, Juneberry, and Mulberry trees produce delicious and attractive-looking fruits. You can also plant herbs such as lavender, basil, sage, mint, chives, dill, and thyme.
Manual Watering and Drip Irrigation
To reduce your water bill, manually water your plants and garden. Watering with a hand-held hose allows you to water exactly where, when, and how much you want instead of a sprinkler system that sprays water everywhere.
If manual watering is too much work, consider a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation systems deliver water, in tiny drips, directly to the plants’ roots. If you’re worried about aesthetics, there’s no need to be because drip irrigation systems can be buried underground or covered with mulch and plants so that it blends in with the environment. Combine a drip irrigation system with rain and soil moisture sensors, sensors that prevent the water system from turning on during and after rainfall and before the soil moisture has dropped to a certain level, and you’ll get even more water savings.
By following these practices, you’ll soon be on your way to landscaping on a budget. You’ll have a garden that gives you peace of mind financially and environmentally.