Budget landscaping and yard care doesn’t mean cutting corners; it means making the most of your tools and existing plants. Follow these six easy-to-implement tips to save money on your great outdoors.
Remember: Seeds are Cheaper Than Plants
Many vegetables are easy to grow from seed, and a $2 seed packet is a lot cheaper than a full-sized plant—or buying vegetables from the store. Try tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans, lettuce, and beets from seed. They’re easy, even for beginning gardeners. Start them indoors under lights for a head start or sow directly in the garden. If you’re nervous about starting from seed, seedlings purchased from a nursery are typically only slightly more expensive.
Invest in a Mulching Mower
A good mulching mower pays for itself in several ways. First, you don’t have to pay to have grass clippings bagged and hauled to a composting facility. Second, returning clippings to your lawn is like free fertilizer. Over the course of a full season, you’ll return about as much nitrogen as one full-strength feeding. And when fall comes, do the same with fallen leaves.
Save Money on Soil
A large container can be expensive to fill with fresh potting soil. To save money, place one or more empty nursery pots upside down in the bottom. Not only does it reduce the amount of soil needed, it reduces weight, too.
Inspect Your Sprinklers
Long watering is an expensive proposition in the summertime. To make sure your sprinklers are operating efficiently, have an irrigation expert do a walk-through water audit and suggest ways to reduce water bills. If you have an automatic irrigation system, use sensors to make it more efficient. They can help you water exactly as much as needed, and no more.
Trade Perennials With Other Gardeners
Mature perennials in your garden are a valuable resource. Most perennials can be dug up and divided, yielding two, three, even four splits. And each of these can be replanted elsewhere. Even better, trade with other gardeners, swapping divisions of your perennial for varieties in their gardens that you’d like to try.
Plant a Tree for a More Efficient House
If you have a hot western wall exposed to the afternoon sun, try planting a tree that will shade it. Not only can it add to the overall aesthetic of your surrounding yard, the shade it throws can significantly reduce your cooling costs.
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