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How Can I Improve My Yard On My Budget?

If you are a homeowner, landscaping will consume a significant portion of your budget during the spring and summer months. It's not really one of the costs that people think about very much, either. Many people totally disregard this cost when they draw up their monthly or annual budget. I've seen a lot of published budgets that don't have any line items devoted to landscaping. But if you are a homeowner, particularly a first-time homeowner, you might not yet have a solid understanding of how much external home costs can add up to.  


Planting, fertilizing, mowing, and keeping the lawn, cleaning the gutters, pulling the weeds, mulching, and aerating will pile up easily. And if you pay for xeriscaping to get rid of grass, you still have a yard to keep going. Native vegetation needs to be weeded and washed weekly or bi-weekly. The cost of yard maintenance will make up a large part of your budget. Here are a few ways you can make up for the cost of maintaining your yard and prepare for these expenses.


10 Cheap Landscaping Ideas for the Backyard


Use Mulch Alternatives

Mulching is a time-and-money saver as it reduces the amount of water and weeds your garden requires, but mulch itself can be costly. That's why one of the best budget ideas in the backyard is to use an inexpensive mulch substitute.


Go Vertical With Your Gardening

Love the garden, but don't you have a lot of room – or money – to do that? Look at the vertical garden. Vertical gardening, to put it simply, uses vertical space to grow plants. If you're looking for a small backyard landscaping budget ideas, vertical gardens are a good place to start. Not only do they make the most of limited space, but they can also be affordable, particularly if you're using recycled materials like old plastic bottles to make them.


Add A Splash Of Color

Often all it takes to pop a backyard is to add some color to it. This can be as easy as painting planters to give your garden a more modern look, or to give wood , metal or plastic chairs a fresh coat of paint. To save even more on this budget backyard landscaping project, reuse paint leftovers from previous projects instead of purchasing new paints. You can also add a simple splash of color in the form of flowers or foliage, placing them on a balcony, patio, at the entrance or tucked into a planting bed.

Repurpose Old Tire

Tires are bulky, and it can be hard to get rid of, since many waste pickers won't allow them. Why don't you put them to good use in your backyard? According to Michelle Bull of Lakin Tire, recycled tires are cheap and easy to find. "They can be picked up at a nearby recycling plant for a couple of bucks, but most people are happy to give away any old tires they have on hand," she says.


Plant Useful Plants

Cut food costs in the summertime by growing your own vegetables and herbs right in your backyard. From DIY herb gardens to plants that repelle bugs, you can easily transform your backyard into a beautiful and practical space with a few terracotta planters and the right placement.


Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

There's no better way to get the family together than smores over a fire pit. But you don't have to jump for a contractor to bring one in – with a ride to the home improvement shop, you can have your own backyard campfire station in just a few minutes. If you need to get rid of rocks from another project, constructing a fire pit with them is a perfect way to do that.


Opt for Natural Perennial Ground Covers

Skip the weed killers and opt instead for the dense spread of perennial soil. According to Jonas Sickler of, weed killers can be costly and hazardous to your health. "Harsh chemicals in Roundup can make pets sick and have been related to cancer," Sickler says. "Weed killers aren't just harmful for your wellbeing – they're still putting more than $20 [per container] on your bank account."


Plant A Tree

Planting trees is one of the simplest – and least costly – landscaping projects in the backyard. All you need is a few digging tools, a mulch and a tree. Plus , having well-planned trees in your yard will save you money in the long run.


Buy (or Build) Low-Cost Seating

If you've completed your backyard budget landscaping designs, you're going to want a place to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your work. But there's no need to rush to the furniture store – you can easily check for used pieces online or make your own inexpensive outdoor seating right at home.


Use Affordable Lighting

Cheap outdoor string lights are the mainstay of budget backyard landscaping. Their light, ambient glow can turn any patio into a chilly summer recess. White twinkle lights cost about $6 per strand, or for a more modern look, you can pick up a line of clear globe lights for about $9. Although slightly more costly, globe light beams are typically more durable than twinkle lights, and the bulbs are easily replaced.

Are You Considering Hardscape for your Front Yard or Backyard? 

At DPG Pavers and Design, we’ve been providing our customers with specialized Landscape and Hardscape Design and Build services for over 30 years. DPG Pavers and Design, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California is the best curb-appeal and outdoor living space designer and installer in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Appearing on HGTV’s Curb Appeal and featured on Discovery Channel’s program Renovation Nation, our team of skilled designers and landscape engineers provides top-quality service and professionalism our customers love.  DPG Pavers and Design offers 2-D and 3-D conceptual home and landscape design plans that allow you to visualize your dream space and make that dream-concept a reality. If you are considering hard landscaping projects (like interlocking concrete pavers) that cover the entirety of your yard contact DPG Pavers and Design to schedule your free consultation today!

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