DIY Landscaping for Less

by Rose Scott

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

You don’t need much money or expertise to spruce up your yard. With a bit of creative DIY, you can have spectacular landscaping for less.

How many of you watch HGTV? Do you take notes on the transformations from seedy to superb? Or maybe you drive by your neighbors’ yards and sigh over the flowing flowerbeds, fine grass, or artful landscaping. You want to beautify your yard but lack the funds or expertise.

Relax! All it takes is a little creativity and you can have spectacular landscaping for less. Most of the expense involved in professional landscaping is labor costs. If you are handy or know a friend who is, you can cut costs dramatically.

DIY Landscaping for Less: 10 Tips

DIY landscaping can be an affordable and rewarding way to improve your outdoor living space. Here are some tips and ideas to help you create a beautiful landscape without breaking the bank:

1. Plan ahead.

Sketch out a rough design of your desired landscape, taking into account the size and shape of your yard, as well as any existing structures, trees or plants. Research appropriate plants for your climate and soil conditions, and determine the most cost-effective materials for your project.

2. Reuse and recycle.

Look for opportunities to repurpose or recycle materials for your landscaping project.

For example, you can use old bricks, stones, or wood to create garden beds, pathways, or retaining walls. Check online marketplaces, local classifieds, or neighborhood groups for free or low-cost materials.

These ideas can help you repurpose things for your garden and outdoor space.

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3. Choose low-maintenance plants.

Select plants that are easy to care for and well-suited to your climate, such as native species and drought-tolerant varieties. Perennials can also save you money in the long run, as they return year after year without needing to be replanted.

4. Propagate your own plants.

Save on plant costs by propagating your own plants from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. Swap plants with neighbors or friends to expand your plant collection without spending money.

Use these tips to frugally fill your yard with plants.

5. Start small.

Tackle your landscaping project in stages to spread out the costs over time. Focus on one area at a time, and prioritize the most visible or functional parts of your yard.

6. Mulch wisely.

Mulch is an inexpensive way to improve soil quality, retain moisture, and suppress weeds.

Choose an affordable, locally sourced mulch material, such as wood chips, straw, or pine needles. Or use these tips to get mulch for free or on the cheap.

7. Consider DIY hardscaping.

Save money by installing your own hardscape elements, such as a patio or walkways. Consider some of these affordable walkway ideas.

Look for tutorials and guides online to help you with the process.

8. Install a rain garden or rain barrel.

Collect rainwater to save on your water bill while providing an eco-friendly source of water for your plants. Rain gardens also help manage stormwater runoff and create a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape feature.

Follow these tips for creating your own rain barrels.

9. Utilize low-cost or free resources.

Take advantage of free or low-cost resources available to you, such as local plant sales, gardening workshops, or online forums where you can ask for advice and share tips with other DIY landscapers.

Try these sources of free and cheap landscaping materials.

10. Be patient.

DIY landscaping is an ongoing process, and your yard will evolve over time. Give your plants time to grow and fill in, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed.

Remember that patience and persistence will pay off in the long run, resulting in a beautiful, budget-friendly landscape.

Reviewed March 2023

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