Landscaping tips

Landscaping can be an expensive undertaking. Here are some ways you can spend less, or spend your existing budget more wisely.
  • Formulate a well-thought-out design and plan, this action save money and time and reduce stress.
  • Compare bids. Get at least two itemized bids from contractors and compare them. Ask for a written guarantee of the work. Set start and finish dates.
  • Don't skimp on the quality of materials or contractors. Flimsy construction will cost more in time and money to correct mistakes or replace materials.
  • Before you dig up plants or tear down structures, first think of ways to preserve them. Salvage as much as possible in an existing landscape.
  • Prepare and improve the soil by working in lots of organic matter, such as compost, rotted manure, and chopped leaves.
  • Buy the largest trees that your budget allows. They require the most years of any plant to mature but add the most value to the landscape.
  • Weigh the advantages of sod, grass seed, and groundcover. Sod provides an instant lawn but at a premium price compared to grass seed.
  • If you're running water or power lines to a new area of the garden, install more water spigots and electrical outlets where they may come in handy.
  • Get expert advice from your county extension service or a garden center when selecting the best plants for your garden. Learn what they will need to survive and thrive. Native plants, already adapted to the climate, generally need less water and attention.
  • Avoid impulse buying. Shop online and mail-order sources, catalogs and web sites expand you choices.
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