Eight Great – and Affordable – Landscaping Hacks

There’s something to be said for curb appeal – and not just when a home is on the market. Maintaining an attractive outdoor space is a wonderful way to lift your spirits and feel closer to nature. It also doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money.  

Here are several tried and true hacks you can try that will transform your yard into something special. 

Clean Up First 

Before you head to the garden store, head outside and rake up all the sticks, leaves and other loose materials there. Not only will this almost immediately make the space more inviting, it’s also a fantastic way to take inventory of the tools you already have to work with and the plants that are already in place. This prevents you from making duplicate purchases and gives you a solid idea of what’s in good shape and what might need some extra TLC. It’s also a good time to put a little grass seed on any slightly bare sections of the lawn. 

Add a Splash of Color 

This can be as simple as painting outdoor planters, chairs, tables and architectural details to give your space a more “together” look. To save even more, reuse leftover paint you already have on hand. Also, try color-coordinating potted flowers or foliage on your deck or patio, near your back door and in adjacent flower beds. 

Shop Like a Pro 

Chances are the local landscapers don’t head to a big box store to buy their plants. They know the real go-tos and it’s easy enough to find them yourself. Try Googling “wholesale nurseries” and see what pops up.  

Think Small 

No matter where you buy your plants, bigger may not be better. You’ll almost always pay more for the additional size, and in many cases a mature plant has a tougher time adjusting to being transplanted. Also consider asking for a discount on plants or flowers which may be slightly less than perfect. Any blemishes or straggly leaves will soon drop off or grow out, and you’ll save an otherwise healthy plant from being tossed.  

If your budget’s super tight, buy a bag of mixed wildflower seeds. You won’t see the benefits right away, but by next growing season those bare spots in the corners of your yard will look a lot better.   

Pick Perennials 

If you’re looking to bring some “added value” to your plantings, perennial flowers are a great place to start. Unlike annuals which need to be bought and planted every year, perennials seed themselves and can go several years before you need to worry about them again. You can find perennials of all types and colors and they’ll save you considerable time, money and effort over time. 

Go the Herbal Route 

One way to stretch your dollars is to set aside some sunny space and grow your own vegetables and herbs. Fresh herbs especially are always great to have on hand, and many will actually help repel insects. A beautiful herb like purple basil can even blend right in with the flowers around it. 

Make Your Own Mulch  

Mulching reduces watering and weeding but the pre-bagged varieties can be expensive. It’s relatively easy to make your own by composting grass clippings, leaves, vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds and alike. You can even find countertop compost buckets you can use indoors. Just about any organic substance that breaks down – even newspapers – will work. Just remember dairy products and plastic items are definite no’s. 

Put Some Light on the Subject 

You don’t have to spend a fortune to add some landscape lighting. In fact, some alternatives even use battery packs to provide a dash of drama without even so much as an electrical outlet. Lighting also makes your entire yard safer and more secure – and even a modest electrical installation has a positive impact on your home’s value.  

Looking for more helpful tips and tricks on everything from planning your move to decorating once you’re there? Be sure to check out our blog. 

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