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Two children playing in sprinkler in front of their home.

Lawn care: Budgeting tips that can save you money

When it comes to a home's curb appeal, a little bit of lawn care goes a long way. Cost-efficient yard décor can be both endearing to the neighbors and good for your budget.

Lawn care tips designed to save you money

A little curb appeal can translate to a lot of profit when it comes time to sell your home. Beautifying and maintaining your part of the block will not only endear you to your neighbors, it will also give your do-it-yourself credentials a serious boost. Here are a few budgeting tips for cost-effective yard upkeep and decor.

Water your lawn in the morning, and invest in a rain barrel or two.

Watering is wasted via evaporation in the heat of the day. If your home came with automatic sprinklers that work on a timer, turn them off, and let nature do most of your yard irrigation for you. Rain barrels will help you harvest additional rainwater (which is FREE) and store it until your yard needs it the most. Not only will this tip save money, but it is also a great stepping stone to going green.

Play with desertscapes.

If consistent irrigation is an issue, or your state has imposed limitations on how often you can irrigate, then a lush green lawn full of thirsty plants, flowers, and shrubs is probably not the best plan for your yard going forward. Consider a low or no-mow desertscape for your outdoor spaces, and shop for drought-tolerant plants at your local gardening center. Replacing your lawn with a desertscape may seem like a drastic change, but what you'll save in future maintenance costs (not to mention all that time you'll reclaim that you would've spent mowing) will make it well worth the effort.

Liven up the decor on your deck, porch, or patio with a new can of paint.

Patio furniture and decor tends to come in predictable textures and hues: wood, or a faux wood finish, terracotta, or concrete. You can alter any of this and add a nice pop of color with the right can of exterior-grade, rust-resistant paint. Bold colors will add instant visual interest to your yardscapes, just remember that a little goes a long way.

If yard maintenance isn't an ongoing priority for you, decorate with potted plants.

If you're not a serious gardener, or you're unsure how long you'll be in the neighborhood, decorate with potted plants instead. Remove neglected plants from existing landscaped areas of your yard, then replace them with a few choice potted plants (the heartier and more voluminous the better), and fill the surrounding beds with rock fill. Potted plants can be quickly swapped out if your green thumb fails you.

Fill your yard with perennials, not annuals.

Get more bang for your buck by planting native, low-maintenance perennial plants instead of annuals. Native perennials are already well adapted to the local climate, and will return season after season. Annuals will only work their magic once, and then you'll have to replace them.



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