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How to Landscape on a budget

Updated Sunday, April 3, 2011
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Spring is a great time to think about adding some curb appeal to your home.
 Here are some low cost ideas to get you started.
Plan carefully to make the most of your landscape dollars. Sketch out your yard and include the contours of your home along with any patios or decks, walkways, driveways, paths, flower beds and retaining walls. Add features you want, and then split the project into phases so you can complete a little at a time to minimize the amount of money you need to spend all at once. Consider setting up a consultation with a landscape architect and having her look over your sketch. You can get advice for much less than you would spend if you had the plans drawn up from scratch.
Use gravel, concrete pavers or poured concrete for the most inexpensive paths and walkways.
Attack weeds as you see them pop up.
Furnish existing decks and patios with inexpensive seating and occasional tables. Check big box stores, thrift stores and yard sales. Dress up the area with a thrifty outdoor rug, some plants in containers, and perhaps some garden-style wall art. Add tiki torches, outdoor lamps, post lights or candle lanterns for evening ambiance.
Sharpen lawn mower blades approximately every six weeks during summer months so the lawn stays healthy. Use thin layers of chopped-up grass clippings and some slow-release nitrogen to fertilize the lawn and help keep it green.
Outline new flower beds with a garden hose to achieve contemporary curved shapes, and then install edging to define the beds and keep the lawn from encroaching.
Invest most of your plants budget in trees, shrubs and flowers native to your area since these are most likely to flourish. Plant perennials and put in fewer than you think you need. You can divide them next year and fill in the beds then.

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Julie Jenkins

Julie Jenkins