Thanks to Olive Dawson from LawnStarter website for the great guest post! Olive Dawson is a gardening and landscape design writer and environmentalist. She is always searching for new ways to reduce waste and grow food organically. She is most proud of her homemade beauty products.
We all want to have a nicely landscaped backyard but sometimes our hopes and dreams don’t match the state of our wallet. It’s true that landscaping can cost a lot but there are also ways to update your yard without breaking the bank.
Grab the Lawnmower and DIY
It takes only 45-minutes to mow the average home lawn. If you mow once a week, that’s only about 3-hours a month. Compare that to the average cost of $30-45 per lawn care service, that could be weekly or bi-weekly depending on grass type and location. But don’t forget about the maintenance costs of a lawnmower. In addition to filling it with gas, you’ll need to have it tuned up once a year and the blades sharpened a few times each summer. Additionally, you can purchase a high quality weed eater for under $100 that will last years.
Mulch Ado for Nothing
Spreading mulch around your landscaping is good for your plants and it also creates a beautiful overall look that pulls the yard together. Consider using natural mulch options that are readily found in your yard. Spreading grass clippings around your plants will help retain moisture and the green color will eventually turn into a brown hue as the clippings break down. You’ll need to reapply grass clippings to the landscaping as the grass disintegrates into the ground. However, this natural mulch is readily available after every mow and is environmentally friendly.
Another natural mulch? Bark dust. If you or a neighbor is cutting down a tree, consider mulching the bark into dust to spread over the landscaping. Be sure to stay away from the bark diseased or infested trees since this can create other problems in the yard. Other natural mulch options include using fallen leaves that will help protect plants from cold winters and provide a natural barrier to impending weeds.
Some plants grow so well in an area that they begin to spread quickly. Consider taking transplants of certain varieties in your yard to create new landscaping in a more barren spot. Ask friends and neighbors if they have any cuttings they can spare in order to build a landscape that is entirely free. Anyone with Geraniums or Philodendrons should be able to give you a transplant from time to time that will become your own succulent garden in the future. Other good plants to take cuttings from include berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, as well as chrysanthemums.
Start A Compost Pile
All of us have scraps that we throw away that could be used in a compost pile. Creating your very own compost pile isn’t tough and it will provide nutrient-rich compost for your yard and garden after just a few months. Compost piles use worms and insects nearby, along with natural yard debris, to create a rich and eco-conscious additive to the garden. You can use kitchen scraps, like coffee grinds and vegetable peels to create a healthy compost pile. It is possible to start a compost pile for free by using wood scraps and other materials that you probably already have on hand.
Grow A Garden
Starting your own vegetable garden is a great way to get outdoors and grow your very own groceries. Many moms enjoy growing a garden to teach children about biology and economics. Gardens only cost a few dollars for seeds and can become very prolific in decreasing your food bills. Growing your own vegetables is also more eco-friendly and you’ll find that just-picked produce will taste quite different than the varieties available in stores.
Paint Old Furniture
Outdoor furniture can wear pretty quickly. There is a lot that you can do to spruce up tired outdoor dining set with some screws and a fresh coat of paint. Instead of buying new, consider investing some time to fix the outdoor furniture pieces that you already have. Another option? Take unwanted pieces from neighbors or at yard sales and fix them up to become new. Remember outdoor furniture doesn’t all need to match: finding pieces that fit the space is all that friends and family members will need when enjoying your outdoor living space. Get creative with outdoor seating and incorporate some non-traditional options like large cuttings from a fallen tree trunk or using recycled materials to create extra seating.