Pick up an annual plant at the nursery and take a good look at the price tag. The cost of individual bedding plants increases every year. Landscaping your home cheaply requires careful planning to limit expense while still creating an inviting environment around the dwelling. Installing a wealth of plants that require constant attention and watering also costs the homeowner in an elevated water bill during the growing season. Cheap landscaping ideas involve adding practical plants to the landscape and using a staged design to limit the cost of decorating the outdoor areas of the home.
Seasonal Plant Discounts
Nurseries place plants on sale at certain times of the year, just like stores do for out of season clothing. Schedule purchases for the fall of each year to get the best price on shrubs and trees. Many nurseries don't want to house this stock over the winter months and may even knock off additional cost from the discounted price. Planting shrubs and trees in the fall offers plenty of time for the plant to acclimate before winter as well as three seasons to adjust before the heat of summer.
Soil and Mulch
Admirable gardens feature healthy blooms and vibrant foliage. This beauty isn't effortless. Good planting practices dictate the health of every plant in the landscape. An organic soil base provides a happy home for each plant to encourage many years to add to your landscape appeal. Soil preparation requires a few basic items to increase the quality of the garden soil. A shovel turns over garden soil to a 12-inch depth and the addition of homemade compost or purchased peat moss boosts the organic content of the soil. Proper soil preparation limits the need for excessive fertilization of plants and reduces maintenance costs. Protect your landscape investment with a layer of mulch on the garden beds. Mulch can be purchased on sale in the spring at home improvement centers and at greatly discounted prices at the end of the summer.
Water Use Zones
Watering a garden plays a big role in the healthy of the plants and the overall cost of the landscape. Select and group plants with similar water needs together. Nurseries place a label on or in every plant pot. This tab should indicate the amount of water required to maintain the plant. Low-use plants tolerate little additional water past initial transplant adjustment. Middle- or moderate-use plants require water only during times of drought. High water plants require continual care and include those plants that will die with drought exposure.
Growing Annuals from Seed
Gardeners love to purchase annual plants for the immediate flower color and impact in the home landscape. There's nothing cheap about purchasing annual plants. Garden enthusiasts have the affordable option of growing annual bedding plants from seed in the home. About 6 weeks before the final frost, plant seeds in small containers such as small paper cups (poke holes in the bottom) or peat pots based on growing recommendations for each type of seed. Nurture the seedlings over the course of the next few weeks. Move the plant containers outside after the final frost and gradually allow the seedlings to acclimate to the change in temperatures.