Use discarded items you find as unique planters... tires, rims, boots, wicker chairs, hard hats or buckets.
Recycle your yard waste and veggie scraps to create your compost pile. Add coffee grinds, egg shells, veggie scraps, leaves, and yard waste into a pile and stir every week. It is great exercise and in one year you will have saved money for not paying a gym for a good work out and for not having to purchase fertilizer/top soil for your new plants.
Also when you buy fresh foods at the farmers market save your seeds. Dry them on wax paper then store them in an envelope an freeze till next year and plant. Some will grow and not produce fruit but have pretty blooms others will prosper and give lots of produce, so either way it is free plants and possibly free food! Hey, who doesn't like that idea! I have five kids, what do you expect!?
Visit your rural mill or seed store, not a Lowe's or a nursery but a dirt on the floor, bags of horse feed stacked to the ceiling, cat sleeping on the counter kind of mill. Place a wanted ad on their board and you will be surprised at how many local farmers have plants or seeds they are willing to share or sell for a reasonable price. We got several mature raspberry plants for $4.00 total, normally a start costs $5.00 each at Lowe's.
The best thing we ever did to save money was to go to a home and garden show and take lots of pictures of all the expensive things we were wanting. Then we went home and with mostly scrap wood, fencing, iron, and whatnots, we were able to spend less than $75 and created an enchanted patio space instead of hiring the work out and spending $2000. Now that kind of saving is worth forfeiting a Saturday and working up a little sweat.
By Hoffmann House Network
After Xmas you can always pick up poinsettias - & they do well in the S. California climate, being originally from Mexico - and make a nice large plant.
Hi I just wanted to add that I save all my seeds from veggies and fruits over the winter and start my seedlings for my garden from these. My hubby didn't think you could do this with fruits and veggies from the grocery store but you can. We had some great melons and peppers this year.
Go to an Agricultural Fair and buy plants from the people who bring them to show. Some bring extra plants to sell, not just their "Blue Ribbon " plants. The lowest prices are on the last day of the fair as they won't have to transport them home.
Go cruise your neighborhood on Yard Waste Pickup day. Many discards have roots and can be replanted. You can also trade cuttings/diggings with your neighbors and friends.
An easy way to maintain a yard is to plant low maintenance, quick spreading plants that fill the spaces with green. The ultimate goal of landscaping is to avoid maintenance. By growing plants that fill a space, weeding is significantly lessened. An area that is planted with black-eyed-susans will quickly fill in with dense plants that choke out any weed seedlings. Likewise, herbs like mint take over flower beds quickly, covering the entire ground with growth. The trick to dealing with these possibly invasive plants is to plant them in areas that need to be taken over. Don't plant mint and expect to grow marigolds next to it; it will invade every inch of growing space in a few growing seasons.
For those shady areas that refuse to grow grass or any other planting, opt for something positively invasive like ivy. English ivy will crawl and cover the ground easily in shady areas. The only maintenance it needs is trimming to prevent it from crawling up tree trunks. Not much will grow at the base of a maple tree, but ivy will fill in the area beautifully while requiring very little care. Crawling vinca works similarly in sunny locations.
Borders are important ways to keep plantings and landscaping materials in check. However, edging, weeding, and repairs can be eliminated without the border. If you're growing a ground cover planting like ivy or vinca, all you'll need to do at the border is cut close with the lawn mower. This will keep a nice clean line at the edge of growth with very little cost and effort.
Try to create a natural and easily maintained border where one is needed. Natural rocks found throughout the yard can be lined to create a simple and sturdy border. When cutting the lawn, cut as closely to the rocks as possible. When they slide, slide them back. They won't break, erode, or corrode. The most they'll do is attract a few stray grass stems between them and possibly migrate a bit in spring.
Mulch is a great groundcover that provides a clean look around plants. However, it breaks down over time requiring not only maintenance but money to replace. Skip the yearly mulching in large areas and look into landscaping stone. River stone and other products like it cost around $50 for each cubic yard. This is a significant initial purchase, but when the stone is still in place and blocking weeds three years from now, the benefit will be apparent. Eventually new stone might need to be added, but it will certainly last longer than bark mulch and it will discourage a variety of pests from moving in.
I'd recommend thinking hard before placing river rock in the garden. The people who lived in this house before us put river rock in the beds in the front yard. They had a few foundation bushes, and no flowers. It wasn't my style of garden (my dad was a landscaper, so I'm used to lots of variety and flowers), so we decided to remove it. Years later, it's still difficult to garden the beds up front, because every time I try to dig I hit rocks. It's far better than it used to be, because I remove the rocks as I hit them. But it's very frustrating. The simple task of putting in new flowers or preparing the beds for seeds ends up taking way longer than it should.
So while it might simplify maintenance, if you want to change your plantings with any frequency the stones will make it very difficult. It would be good for someone who wants to put a few bushes in and never change it.
One way to reduce your mulch cost is to save those fall leaves in a pile and then once they have decomposed, use them as leaf mulch. Saves on the fall chore of bagging them or hauling them to the curb.
Living in S. Calif. I have found that succulents like jade plants are very easy to take "cuttings" from - all you have to do is break off a sprig & just put it in soft moist ground! Spider plants are also "invasive" in our climate and the small plants they make are also easy to transplant. Love our mint patch - & have found that mint is also easy to transplant.
I agree with Mrs. Story, and would add that although mulch does degrade, it puts valuable nutrients in the ground while doing so! And with smaller plantings, river rock could allow rainwater to run off instead of soaking in, unless it's just one layer deep! And of course, if it's one layer deep, it'll still allow some weed to come up, so....just plain NOT a good idea, in the grand scheme of things! If I looked at a home on the market and saw river rock on the flowerbeds or around shrubs, I'd run!
A big landscaping project can be a budget buster, but with a little creative planning it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips for creating a beautiful landscape without breaking the bank.
My family landscaped for many years and I want to give you some hints. Never plant a tree in front of your house as it makes the front yard look short.