Landscaping can be an expensive proposition. However, it is possible to keep the costs to yourself relatively low by paying attention to a few practices that can save you money. After all, the most beautiful landscape in the world can be a source of vexation if it costs you more than you can afford to put in and upkeep. By remembering a few helpful tips, you can save money on your landscaping needs, and enjoy it all the more.
Plan before you make your purchases. Having a plan for your landscape will allow you to practice common sense and economy when making purchases. If you do not plan, you may buy something you do not need, and that can be a waste of money. Complete a rough sketch of what you would like to accomplish with your landscape design. Also find out exactly what you need to make it possible. There is a wealth of Web site that can help you get an idea of what you need to complete a project, and specialty stores and even some home improvement warehouses have experts on hand who can give you advice. Once you know exactly what you need, you can make your purchases without buying excess materials that result in money wasted.
Make your purchases in phases. If you make out a plan, you should also include when you will perform certain portions. Most people cannot afford to make all the changes that they would like to make at once. If you plan out phases of your landscape project, then you can buy what you need as you go along, and as you have the money. This can help you save on the interest and loan fees associated with home improvement loans or using credit cards to make purchases.
Cheaper is not always better. If there is little difference in quality, then buying the cheaper item is the best course. However, local shops often have true experts who will impart of the wisdom for free if you ask questions while making a purchase. Specialty shops can give you correct information on installing a water feature. If you are new to landscaping, it can save money in the long run to spend a little extra to get better service, help and advice. If you do buy at a “big box” store, be sure to carefully inspect plants for diseases and insect problems. These stores may not care if they take as good of care of the plants as a nursery would. Buying a diseased plant only means buying it over again when it dies, and this means that you are out some amount of money. Many nurseries offer warranties and guarantees free of charge on their plants.
Use common sense timing on your landscape purchases. If you plan to do some landscaping, think about when you would like to accomplish it. Buy lumber during the winter, when it is cheaper, and then store it until you are ready to use it. Buy things like trees, perennials, mulch, and soil late in the season. In most places, you still have time to winterize your landscape if you wait until October to make your maintenance purchases. Also, watch for plant sales at local nurseries. This is often a great way to get quality plants at low prices.
Use alternative resources. It is not always necessary to buy something at a store. You can order through catalogs or online. An inexpensive membership to a garden and seed club can yield very good prices on many items, as well as helpful advice. Also, you may be able to arrange a plant exchange in your neighborhood. Many cities offer low price or free mulch and compost, and you can get stones and bricks at many construction or demolition sites.
Share costs with neighbors. If your neighbors and you pool resources, you can often get a good deal on items bought in bulk. Likewise, share the rental fees for machinery such as chippers, tillers, and aerators. If everyone chips in a few dollars, you can work out a schedule where each neighbor gets to use the equipment before it is taken back. This is a great way to reduce the costs associated with landscaping.