Landscaping A Bare Yard With Little Money And A Lot Of Time

Making a bare yard beautiful can be expensive if you want that instantly mature landscape look. Getting that look on a budget requires a long-term plan and a lot of patience.

Make a Multi-year Plan

If you aren't moving anytime soon, take your time and start small. A 5-year plan is standard. You can change and tweak your plan over time, but knowing where you'd like to end up is essential in charting how to get there.

Tackle the Front Yard First

For a yard lacking curb appeal, there are ways to remedy that without breaking the bank. If you want a nice lawn and have an overabundance of weeds, start by beginning a watering, weeding and fertilizing schedule. If you have no grass, your entire first year budget may go to restoring the lawn. If the lawn isn't a problem, turn to inexpensive annual flowers in beds or containers to brighten up your yard and create a homey feel.

Add a Tree

A bare yard needs trees, and if you can't afford large trees, small ones are fine. You can even grow a tree, such as an oak or maple, from seeds if you are so inclined. A tree not only will eventually provide shade, but it anchors your front yard landscape and provides a focal point.  

Save Money with Plants that Multiply

There is a plethora of plants that give you freebies by multiplying year after year. Some do so by self-seeding, if nature is left to take its course. They will reward you with a bounty of seedlings to fill in bare spots and locate to other areas of the yard. Some popular self-seeding annuals are

  • Coreopsis
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnias
  • Marigolds
  • Celosia
  • Gaillardia
  • Poppies

Perennials that multiply are a wonderful source of new plants to spread into other spots in the garden. All perennials grown from bulbs, corms and rhizomes multiply. Some of the easiest to grow are

  • Daylilies
  • Irises
  • Amaryllis
  • Daffodils
  • Lupines
  • Agapanthus
  • Gladiolus

Fill In With Groundcovers

Until you can get your garden beds filled in with shrubs and flowers, it's a great idea to cover the ground with fast-spreading groundcovers. Choose perennials that thrive in your particular climate, or go with annuals such as portulacas, nasturtiums and petunias. Ornamental sweet potato is perennial in some climates, and it is simple to keep a few cuttings going over the winter where it is not. You can even use real sweet potato vines and harvest the roots in the fall. Evergreen groundcovers such as mondo grass, liriope, ivy and lamb's ears are a great way to fill in areas where you don't want flowers.

Landscaping a bare yard on a budget takes time, knowledge and patience. If making a plan that fits your lifestyle is too overwhelming, contact a trusted local landscaper to help you out. Visit a website like to learn more.


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