Placing trees in the right spots around your home can significantly reduce your energy costs. The Arbor Day Foundation suggests planting deciduous trees on the east, west, and northwest sides of your home to create shade and reduce the need for air conditioning. Evergreens work well planted on the north side of your house, providing a buffer against cold winter gusts.
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- 11 Ways Landscaping Can Save You Money
11 Ways Landscaping Can Save You Money
Cool Your Home with Trees
Dive into Composting
That bin of broken-down food scraps, paper goods, and yard trimmings is gold for your garden. Composting waste reduces the need for purchased fertilizer and makes vegetable gardens more productive. Plus, as many towns now charge per bag for garbage pickup, cutting down on your household trash could make sense for your savings.
Rethink Your Lawn
Choose the type of turf that has the best chance of success in your climate, and don’t over fertilize, over mow, or overwater it. If you’ve got a patch that consistently requires special attention and lots of watering, tear it out and replace it with a bed of hardy flowers or a low-maintenance shrub.
Opt for Natives
Put aside those gorgeous nursery catalogs and ignore the trucked-in potted plants that fill garden centers and big-box stores. Instead, take a look in your local parks. Identify plants that naturally thrive in your neck of the woods, and make those the backbone of your landscaping plans. You’ll end up saving tons of time, money, and frustration.
Related: 14 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks
Mulching flower and veggie beds cuts down on the need for watering and weeding—and that’s good for your wallet and your back. Sure, you can buy mulch by the bag, but why pay when you can often find it for free? Contact your city to see if they give away the mulched remains of fallen trees, as many do. You can also make your own mulch by running a lawn mower over a pile of leaves.
Grow Free Food
A vegetable garden can be a mega money-saver if you choose plants that grow well in your location. Even just a few tomato or basil plants can reduce your grocery bill and make for healthier mealtimes.
Let Vines Climb
Build a trellis over your sunniest windows, then train flowering vines, such as morning glory or sweet autumn clematis, to climb over the lattice. They’ll reduce energy costs by providing lovely dappled shade all summer, then wither away in winter to let the sun warm your home.
Related: 11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy
Harness the Sun
Walkways or driveways that require illumination at night can add to your electricity bill. Pick up some inexpensive solar-powered landscape lighting instead. Because they charge during the day and turn on automatically at night, they're a greener and cheaper option than electric lights.
Tired of shelling out every spring for flowering plants to jazz up your home’s look? Learn the simple art of harvesting late-summer seeds for planting next year. Cosmos and poppies are two good picks for beginners. Simply shake the seeds from the dead, dried-out blooms, pop them in an envelope, and plant them the following spring.
Shop Fall Sales
If you’re inspired to enhance your garden and save some green at the same time, your moment is close at hand. In the fall, many garden centers put plants and seeds on clearance. Choose carefully, and opt for local or drought-resistant varieties—and get them in the ground well before the first frost arrives!
Plant for Curb Appeal
The biggest financial benefit of smart landscaping is the boost it can give to your home value. If your resources are limited, focus on sprucing up the front yard, facade, and walkway. Enhancing the drive-by appeal of your property will pay off big when it’s time to move on.