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Budget Landscaping Tips for Your Yard
When homeowners are planning their budgets to prepare their homes for sale, they often put landscaping at the end of the list…if they even think of it at all. Landscaping is an important part of curb appeal and shouldn’t be relegated to the bottom of the list. Here are 12 tips for landscaping your Frederick home on a budget.
Tasteful landscaping always makes a good first impression on potential buyers, and landscaping can see returns of up to 215 %. making them one of the most valuable home improvements for homeowners to invest their time and money. Gardens are not only a good investment, they are fun and therapeutic!
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As I’ve been searching for inexpensive ways to make the most of my landscaping, I discovered some tips that might just help homeowners keep the outside appeal as much of a priority as the inside. Here are some tips and links you might find useful:
Eight Budget Landscaping Tips
1.Take Cuttings. They’re free. You can grow some new plants from stems, some from roots. Some plants root much better than others. This is a great time to get friendly with neighbors…as you exchange cuttings with others, you can get gardening tips too. I found this great tutorial on propagation from the Missouri Extension website.
2. Join a gardening club. Even if its for a short time, you’ll learn a lot and find a bunch of zealots who are willing to share. Tasker’s Chance Gardening Club has a nice website.
Join a Facebook garden group or like a page. There are many! If you can find one that is local or regional, all the better. Here are just a few local Maryland groups I found:
- Green-Walled Garden Club
- Master Gardeners of Frederick County Maryland
- Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland
- Mt. Airy Garden Club
3. Choose plants that fit Maryland’s (or your state’s) climate and your soil type. Plants that are native to Maryland are much easier to care for, and they endure the conditions much better. An easy-care garden is also more appealing to today’s buyers. Local plants are less fussy, resistant to disease and more reliable.
Maryland Native Plants
- sunflower, (Helianthus)
- tiger lily (Lilium)
- willowherb (Epilobium)
- snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia)
- cinnamon fern (Osmunda)
- speedwell (Veronica)
- buttercup (Ranunculus)
- forget-me-not (Myosotis)
- pitcherplant, yellow trumpets (Sarracenia)
- lady’s slipper
- wild petunia (Ruellia)
- turtlehead (Chelone)
Use this tool from the National Wildlife Federation to find plants that are native to your specific location:
4. Choose Pest resistant bulbs. Bulbs are very economical because they are perennial. The only problem is that some of them are like candy to deer and rodents. There’s nothing worse than watching your investment be the supper of the neighborhood bunnies and squirrels:/
Here is a list of bulbs from Southern Living you can plant now that these fiends won’t destroy.
- Allium (Allium sp.)
- Crinum (Crinum sp.)
- Dutch iris (Iris sp.)
- Foxtail lily (Eremerus sp.)
- Fritillary (Fritillaria sp.)
- Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa sp.)
- Grape hyacinth (Muscari sp.)
- Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)
- Snowdrop (Galanthus sp.)
- Snowflake (Leucojum sp.)
- Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)
- Spring star flower (Ipheion uniflora)
- Squill (Scilla sp.)
- Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogallum umbellatum)
- Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
5. Choose bulbs that multiply. Watching your bulbs multiply is the way to get the most bang for your buck if you are patient. Small bulbs tend to do this better than larger ones.
6. Choose self-seeding plants. Gotta love those volunteers! Forget-me-not’s are my favorite on this list. Morning Glories aren’t on the list but they are great volunteers.
7. Think outside the box. Use found and repurposed items for planters and garden art. With a few skills you can create stepping stones out of cement, planters out of broken china, or a trellis out of discarded wood or cheap bamboo sticks.
8. Container Gardening is a great choice if you are short on time or space. You can bring them inside during the cold months and extend their life. You can also get creative when it comes to pots and containers, using items that you have on hand. Don’t forget to scout out thrift stores and refuge stores like Habitat for Humanity’s Home Store in Frederick.
Five Great Resources for budget Landscaping
1. The Best Source Ever is the DIY Network Gardening website. You can find just about any tutorial you want, as well as lots of videos. Understanding plant types and what they need is a good start to a successful landscaping plan.
2. Research and Plan Ahead. Make a plan. Keep it flexible, but have a plan. Creating a visual of what you want to accomplish is helpful. If you like to go old school, subscribe to garden magazines and clip the pictures that you like. You can create a collage to make sure you like the color combinations.
Take your plans with you when you visit the garden store so you can take advantage of sales, or pass up a sale when you know that the plants on sale won’t fit your plan.
[special tip: Don’t get dazzled by all the fancy gardening tools, unless you’re not trying to stay on a budget. They may make you look more stylish, but they won’t really make a difference in your gardens.]
3. If you’re more inclined to go paperless, there are lots of gardening apps that you can use. I also love to create Pinterest boards to keep my ideas handy. Pinterest is a wealth of information and design ideas! There are some great garden boards to follow.
4. Composting makes more financial sense that buying fertilizer every year. The Frederick County Government Solid Waste Facilities has a composting class, as well as printed materials on the subject. Mixing your soil with compost will help keep your plants healthy.
5. Mulch from Frederick County Recycling Centers is $8 for single-ground, and $15.00 for double-ground, per ton. 9031 Reichs Ford Road. Contact the Office of Recycling at 301-600-2960 for more information.
How Much Should I Budget for Landscaping?
Many professional landscaping companies suggest spending up to 10% of your home’s value on landscaping. Wow. For many of us in Maryland that’s a lot of money. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, then you may not have time for some of these cost-saving methods of creating a beautiful yard. You can, however, combine some of these tips with some more expensive solutions.
Keep in mind that most of the more expensive landscaping ideas, like hardscaping, or fountains, or permanent structures like a pergola, may not give you the best return on investment. For the average home, those projects are really for our own enjoyment.
If you just bought a new home and the landscaping is minimal, you’re probably excited to get started adding some life to your yard. The best advice I ever got when we purchased a new home in Lake Linganore was from a landscaper: Live in the house for a while and get to know the house and the yard before you make any plans. He was right, I had different ideas after a year…better ideas.
How Can I Make My Landscaping Look Better?
A pleasing yard is full of life. But sometimes that life gets unchecked. If you have existing landscaping in place, but it’s not what you want it to be, create a plan. Tackle that plan one item at a time.
- First, trim everything back to see what you’ve actually got going on. How healthy are your shrubs, borders and trees?
- Get those weeds out of the way.
- Find out how to bring each one back to life, or whether you need to dig some up and start all over again.
- If your outdoor space is bare, start filling in with cuttings, seeds, and some of the choices above. This is where having an overall plan comes in handy. Make sure you take into account plant height as well as width, soil requirements and care.
- Clean up the edges, create borders, bring on the mulch. Good looking mulch can transform a sloppy space.
- Take a look at the sidewalks, driveway, and outside the house. Curb appeal is important and can diminish all the work you’ve put into your landscaping if not considered. Do some power washing and repair.
Best Tip of All: Have Patience!
Get inspiration from our Landscaping Pinterest Board:
- Elbow Grease is the Secret to Great Curb Appeal – If you’re considering selling your home, you will want to start getting your home ready. Don’t forget the outside when you consider sprucing up the home. In most cases, all you need is a little elbow grease to make a big difference. Here are 10 steps to great curb appeal.
- Lawn Care Tips for Homeowners – Our guest blogger David Goldberg from Reliable Home Inspections shares some timely tips for lawn care.
- Homeowner tips – Use Less Water on Your Yard and Garden – Homeowners will be happy to know that having a lush green lawn, beautiful landscaping and colorful flowers doesn’t have to cost a fortune in water.
- Using Fresh Flowers in Your Staging – Everyone loves flowers. This is a list of the best to use.
Landscaping Your Frederick Home on a Budget, written by Karen Highland
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