11 Ways Landscaping Can Save You Money

August, the downhill slope of summer, is a great time to take stock of your landscaping—and its impact on your finances. This year, did you sink cash into expensive purchases that didn’t thrive? Did it seem like you were always watering? Do you feel like you spent too much time on your yard with little to show for it? Thoughtful evaluation can yield valuable insights that will help you both beautify your garden and stretch your household budget as you approach the fall planting season. If so, try some of these 11 landscaping modifications that can beef up your bottom line.

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  1. Cool Your Home with Trees

    Shade-house-tree

    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.


    Related: 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard

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  2. Dive into Composting

    Food-waste-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. 


    Related: 7 Times to Throw Garbage in Your Garden

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  3. Rethink Your Lawn

    Rose-bushes

    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.


    Related: 11 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Lawn

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  4. Opt for Natives

    Garden-shrubs

    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

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  5. Mulch Much

    Mulch-in-garden

    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.


    Related: 7 Smart Ways to Save Water in the Yard

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  6. Grow Free Food

    Veggie-garden

    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.


    Related: 21 Money-Saving Tricks That Every Homeowner Needs to Know

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  7. Let Vines Climb

    Vine-house

    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

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  8. Harness the Sun

    Solar-lights

    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. 


    Related: 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50

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  9. Save Seeds

    Flower-grow

    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.


    Related: 14 Totally Free Ways to Start Your Own Garden

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  10. Shop Fall Sales

    Flower-shop

    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! 


    Related: 15 No-Effort Plants for a Foolproof Landscape

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  11. Plant for Curb Appeal

    Landscape

    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.


    Related: 14 Insanely Easy Curb Appeal Projects You Can Do in a Day

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