Landscaping your yard doesn't have to break the bank. Your budget may be about the size of a dime, but don't get discouraged by the price tags in home improvement stores and nurseries. If you're resourceful and willing to do the work on your own instead of hiring someone, you can beautify your yard with gardens, walkways and surprising points of interest. Plan carefully and work on one project at a time to maximize your dollars.
Make a sketch of your landscape, marking all of the existing features of your yard such as trees, slopes and walkways.
Write a list of the elements you would like to include in your landscape. Draw possible flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, trees and fencing on your sketch.
Build your walkways first from inexpensive material such as concrete, pavers or gravel. Remove all grass and root systems from the ground before laying your walkway to prevent weeds.
Accentuate the existing porch or patio with inexpensive tables and chairs. You can find these at large discount stores, and look for sales around Memorial Day or Labor Day for extra savings. Pick up an outdoor citronella candle to keep mosquitoes away, rope lights and cheap plant containers for ambiance.
Use your plant budget on trees and shrubs native to your area. Wait until the end of summer so you can buy them on sale. Purchase flower and vegetable plant seeds and start them indoors. Choose perennials because they will grow back the following year, and you won't need to purchase many because you can split them next year.
Start a compost pile with grass clippings, sticks and coffee grinds. Compost adds oxygen and good bacteria to your soil to help your plants grow, and you won't need to purchase fertilizer.
Prepare flowerbeds several days before planting. Remove all grass, rocks and debris with a shovel, and save as much soil as possible. Mix topsoil, compost and the soil you removed to raise the level of the plant bed so you don't have a drainage problem. Wait two days, and then turn the soil over again.
Plant shrubs and seedlings in the gardens, and cover with a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch to prevent weeds and help retain moisture. Water the plants according to their instructions.
Add edging to your gardens using large rocks, bricks or mulch. Edging protects your plants from foot traffic and adds style and contours to your landscape.