Atlanta Living: 3 Cheap Do-It-Yourself Landscaping Ideas
By now, you already know that Atlanta offers different gardening opportunities depending on the season. In January, for example, English daisies and pansies are the best flowers to plant. Mid-January, you can try planting turnips, radishes, cabbages, broccoli, and some leafy greens.
Come February, you can start planting sweet peas along with winter daphnes, garlic, onions, and English peas. There is a perfect flower or vegetable to plant every month, and the planting season doesn’t end until December. And if you’re done planting, maybe you’re in for some DIY landscaping, too.
Any seasoned gardener or landscaper will tell you that your home’s landscape is not only about haphazardly positioned shrubs and trees. Even if it’s a DIY project, you need to carefully plan it out.
You need to do lots of research, too! On top of it all, since it’s a DIY project, prepare yourself for some real soil work. The effort that needs to be put in is not a problem for a hobbyist. The pleasure they get from seeing the result of their efforts is enough reward for their hard work.
The truth of the matter is, if you want amazing landscaping, it won’t come cheap. However, if you plan thoroughly, you can bring to life an amazing outdoor setting with a little upfront cost. Here are some ideas to help you out.
Go for ground cover that is easy to maintain
For most people, having a lush lawn is a pipe dream, but it’s not a financially savvy option for everyone -- especially if you are in a region with an arid climate. Chances are, you will be struggling to keep the grass weed-free and green. To deal with heavily weeded and patchy lawns, you will likely need to resort to re-sodding the yards.
Though this can cost thousands of dollars, it can make your lawn picturesque and your entire property more valuable. Experts suggest that if you have enough budget to spare, the best thing you can invest when landscaping is your sod. This can make or break the overall look of your lawn.
If you don’t have enough budget for the best sod in Atlanta, you can go for an alternative grass. Lamium, along with bishop’s weed and thyme can spread faster over your back and front lawn. Aside from that, they will also remain hardy through drought and temperature swings. All you have to do is plant ten creeping ground cover plants that will cost you around $5 to $10 each. These plants will germinate quickly and take over some parts of your yard with flowers and leaves.
Make sure to only stick to the yard portions that are challenging to maintain like your transitional spaces, side yards, and fully shaded areas. This will ensure that your yard won’t look overrun by your plants or by a forest. If you like, you can keep grass on some of the sunny parts of your lawn. If you’re located in an arid region, you can go for land xeriscaping.
Use homemade compost and mix with soil
If you intend to add some plants or flowers to your yard, you might be tempted to load up on expensive potting soil. Though this type of soil will give more nutrients to your plants, it’s not the lone nutrient source.
Instead, you can save on the soil cost by mixing the potting soil with backyard compost in equal parts. You can make your own compost with the use of your household’s organic leftover scraps. The compost mixed with the potting soil is the best nutrient-dense mixture your plants will surely love.
If, however, you have limited space and you don’t have the luxury of owning a backyard where you can grow plants, one option is to use recycled plastic containers. Through this material, you can easily start a container garden. So, what is this kind of gardening, you may ask?
This is an approach to gardening where you fill any kind of container with garden soil and you line or hang it up after planting seeds in it. You can then place or hang these potted plants on your veranda or in a designated area of your home. You can even put these plants on your rooftop if you really don’t have enough space.
The good thing about using recycled plastic bottles as your alternative pot is that they’re cheap. In fact, you don’t have to spend anything if you have a lot of empty bottles at home. Aside from that, plastic pots also retain moisture longer than clay pots. It also won’t dry out faster compared to terra-cotta pots.
You have to remember, however, that the plants you put in containers need to have a steady supply of drainage, aeration, and the best kind of soil. You can only expect optimum harvest and healthy roots if you satisfy all these requisites. And when you put in the soil to your pots, make sure to refrain from garden soil as this is heavy and can get waterlogged. If the water stagnates, it can bring a lot of pests and diseases to the plants.
Start planting young shrubs and plants
Most consumers prefer mature flowers and plants from the nursery simply because they’re more visually appealing. The truth, however, is that price is the only difference between the mature and young plants of the same species. The only exception here is tiny seedlings.
These seedlings are easily killed or scorched. A 3.25 gallon pot of crape myrtle will only cost $20, while the 10.25-gallon variety is priced at $70. With this said, it’s better to buy smaller plants than the old and mature ones. You can save a lot with the former option.
These are just a few of the tips in doing a DIY landscaping project. You can also try out other methods if you wish. At the end of the day, what’s more important is that you research and plan thoroughly before you start with your project. If you proceed without any plan in mind, you’ll surely waste money instead of saving some.