5 Best Money-Saving Landscape Design Tips
Even those of us who are passionate about landscape design and gardening can be equally passionate about saving time and money while doing it. Minimizing effort and expense on your landscaping chores is all about knowing the best times to perform certain tasks around your gardens and lawn. Whether it’s maintenance, planning, or installing – understanding the seasons is key for making sure you time your work so that it’s cost and time effective.If you’re ready to lessen your burden when it comes to maintaining your landscape and all the elements in it, here are 5 tips to make your life easier:
1. Plan next Spring Landscape Design in the FallFor many people, "spring clean-up" often waits until after Memorial Day when the days are longer and weekends nicer for outside work. The problem is, once your timing is off, you can’t play catch-up – Mother Nature will simply continue to outpace you. Unfortunately, the commercial home and garden industry has conditioned consumers into believing landscape design should be done in the spring, including getting rid of the dead growth from the previous season. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fall is a great time to take full advantage of autumn rains, cooling temperatures, and plants slowly going to sleep for the winter. As your gardens quietly fade with the seasons, carefully prune dead growth so your gardens will be ready for spring. When it comes to planning your landscape lighting, fall is a good time to get ready for next year’s growing season. Our temptation is to lay out and install outdoor lighting in the spring as plants and trees turn green and warmer temperatures entice us outdoors. But springtime is often busy with other projects for planting and gardening, and planning your outdoor lighting won’t be done correctly until your planting is completed. And if you do install lighting in the spring, you won’t have the advantage of full foliage to know how effective your lighting will be. Planning your landscape lighting in early fall, before your plants enter their dormant phase and lose their leaves, will let you plan for optimum lighting for the following summer months. Just be sure to allow for some flexibility for next spring landscape design changes.
2. Assess your landscape for “edits” in the late springNothing promotes overspending like assessing your landscape too early in the year. The early spring months are far too transitional to make any major judgment calls on what should be updated or replaced. Some plants may have struggled through winter and need a little more time to perk back up. Just be patient, give it a little time, and wait until you have a better picture of what your landscape will look like come warmer weather. You may not have to do as much as you think once winter recovery is complete. The key is not to rush. Slow down a little. Let the spring unfold completely so you can fully articulate what transformations you’d like to see before you dive into any expensive landscaping projects – on your own or with a professional.
3. Plan for fall projects in the summertimeOnce you and your landscape have gone through spring and life has fully returned, you can accurately assess your plant performance and garden composition. Now you have the data you need to design your garden edits and landscape design updates over the early summer months, so you’re able to set your budgets and line up work for the fall season. By taking the time to plan, you’ll guard against wasting money on unnecessary or inadequate solutions.
4. Target planting projects for the fallIf you want to add or adjust the plantings in your landscape, autumn is your season because it helps prevent plant losses that occur so frequently in the hotter, more stressful summer months. New plants as well as transplants suffer and often die through drought, so save money by working with plants when you’re more likely to succeed. Mother Nature will be on your side with shortening days and cooler temps. Also, fall is the time when roots are in active growth mode. Think of it this way -- if you’re digging up plants, damaging roots, what better time to do that than when the roots can rebound with quick attention? Remember to hydrate plants well before you dig them up. This will help with the shock and the new acclimation efforts. Oh, and water after, too – they’re going to be thirsty after all that activity.
5. Approach a hardscape design project like remodeling a houseHardscape design projects are expensive, so the best tip we have to get the most out of your money is to design, plan, and budget adequately for the job. Just because you’d like it to be less costly doesn’t mean it can be. Cutting corners to save a buck now just means you’ll probably be spending a lot more later-on to fix the shortcomings. Remember, a hardscape addition such as a wall or patio should be considered a permanent, one-time effort. Think of your house -- you don’t want to go back and fix stuff after you’ve built it. Ideally, it was built right to begin with. Solid foundations for walls and patios and other hardscapes make all the difference in the world. They may cost more, but they’re also an insurance policy. Believe it or not, the earth moves -- especially when winter brings deep, upheaving frosts -- so slapping a bunch of stone on top of soil isn’t going to hold. Choose where you’ll build your hardscape features wisely. Don’t rush through it. Again, this is a permanent build, so placement is critical to success, both visually and functionally. If you’re putting your hard won dollars into hardscape be sure to learn all the ins and outs of how to succeed and build a sustainable project that will last a long, long, long time. We love the idea of landscapes being “cheap”, but here’s the truth: they aren’t. The way we save money is to be smart and plan work to maximize wins while minimizing losses. For more information about creating a sustainable landscape in all conditions, and upgrading your outdoor living areas, contact Land Creations by sending us a message or request, or call us at (405) 755-7866.
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