The original post is called 8 ways to save money on costly lawn care and is from the bankrate.com site. What's really cool is that most of the things listed are very eco-friendly, too. I added a few suggestions of my own to round out the list to 10!
Read the full post for more details on their suggestions, which are:
- Xeriscape your yard - The savings can be big. One estimate by the University of Illinois Extension puts the amount of water a lawn needs to stay green in summer at 1 inch of water per week, which translates to an average of about 2,500 gallons of water per week to keep a 4,000 square-foot lawn green, assuming no rainfall. If you pay $3 per 1,000 gallons, that's almost $400 per year to water your lawn. Xeriscaping cuts that in half, according to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, making the savings almost $200 per year.
- Plant fruit trees - Not only can fruit trees save money by providing shade for your home to reduce heating bills, but they're also a great source of free fruit if properly maintained
- Compost organic waste - Grass clippings, vegetable scraps and other organic waste can be turned into free compost to augment soil, to mulch around trees and to fertilize your lawn.
- Plant perennials instead of annuals - Annuals must be replanted every year. Save money by planting perennials that will last three years or more
- Plant leafy shade trees around your home - Once trees take hold and get big enough, their shade can keep your home significantly cooler and help you save money.
- Start with seeds and smaller plants - You can cut your costs down by a half to two-thirds if you just buy quart-sized plants instead of gallon-sized containers.
- Don't replace outdoor furnishings; paint them - You can save money on yard furnishings with some creativity and a little elbow grease.
- Shop plant sales in the fall - Especially in the northern part of the country, you can save money as nurseries clear their inventory for the winter with plant clearance sales in mid to late fallHere are my extra two suggestions!
- Participate in conservation rebate programs offered locally - Montgomery County Rainscape program, District of Columbia Smart Homes Program and others.
- Shop at local thrift stores for garden goodies - Helps keep your garden costs under control while you support local charities.