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5 Tips for Landscaping on a Budget

How to Save Money in Landscaping Your Yard

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Picture of dandelion flowers.

Don't bust the budget fighting dandelions: Eat them, instead!

David Beaulieu

Landscaping on a budget doesn't mean settling for a shabby yard. From plants to patios, from window boxes to water features, learn how to save money while designing an attractive yard from the resources below for landscaping on a budget.

1. Landscaping on a Budget: Lawns

Many homeowners obsess over lawn weeds, and their obsession drives them to spend money unnecessarily on weed killers. If they're successful in these witch-hunts against weeds, the result is a monoculture. But the experts, including Paul James of HGTV, counsel us to accept a certain percentage of weeds in the lawn. Their argument is that lawns with some diversity remain healthier than lawns reduced to a monoculture.

This argument goes doubly when the "weed" in question is clover, as I point out in my article on clover lawns. Clover is a nitrogen-fixer, sharing this ability with other cover crops in the pea family. Clover will fertilize your lawn for free.

2. Landscaping on a Budget: Hardscape

Water features needn't break the budget to make a big splash in your yard. Modern pumps and pond liners are inexpensive and easy for do-it-yourselfers to install, as I discuss in my article on water fountains. Add some stones and an extra bit of effort, and you can even build small waterfalls. Scrounge around for free stones at construction sites (obtain permission) or on the property of your country cousin.

Not only water features but other hardscape projects can be easier than beginners at first imagine. It's just a matter of choosing the path of least resistance. For instance, brick patios laid in sand are easier to build for do-it-yourselfers than those laid in concrete. By planning properly, it is also possible in many cases to avoid having to cut any of the bricks, a task daunting enough to drive many a homeowner into paying someone else to lay a patio for them. Similarly, bypass the pricey pros and lay your own stone walkways in sand.

On Page 2 we'll take a look at some more tips for landscaping on a budget, including whether or not to buy scraggly-looking plants on the cheap........

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