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In decades past, families and friends would gather around in the living room as the place of entertainment and socialization. But today, more and more people are congregating in their backyards to cook, chat, play games, and enjoy one another’s company. But keeping a nice yard maintained can be a year-long project— and a costly one at that. Luckily, we are here to offer some of our best tips, tricks, and DIY backyard ideas on a budget.
Landscaping is essential to a beautiful backyard. Connect with a landscaping contractor today and get quotes from pros in your area for free.
Keep It Clean
The first step to having a nice, relaxing backyard getaway is to clear the clutter. Get rid of pots and lawn ornaments that are faded and cracked. Open up the area by cleaning up unnecessary or broken lawn furniture.
Good lawn maintenance habits are imperative to creating a welcoming and inviting backyard. Tall weeds and overgrown grass are unsightly and can become a haven for pests like mice and rats. Trees with overhanging limbs are a hazard to buildings and the people below. When it comes to mowing, do it often enough so you never remove more than ⅓ of the grass height. Chopping too much can shock the plant, hindering future growth. Always make sure your lawn mowing machines are in good working order for best results and a healthy-looking lawn.
Wanting to redo your lawn but trying to decide which backyard landscaping ideas on a budget are best for your home? Try low-maintenance and native plant choices. These require little effort and water to thrive, saving you money and time for years to come. Research what grasses grow best in your area. For example, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda, carpet, Grama, and Bahia are all good warm-weather grasses that can withstand hot summer months.
If you’re looking for something a little different than regular grasses, ornamental grasses and shrubs are some great DIY backyard ideas. They are an excellent way to bring in new looks and colors. They can range anywhere between $10-$20 per plant or $5 to $10 for seed packets, but ornamental grasses and plants like reed grass, morning light maiden grass, scotch moss are hardier and more versatile than other garden plants.
Make Shade if You Have None
It’s hard for a backyard to be a place to sit back and relax if you’re constantly under the sun’s rays. If your backyard is lacking trees and shade, don’t be afraid to make your own. Umbrellas are one way to accomplish this. One advantage to umbrellas is that they are portable, allowing you to move them as the sun moves throughout the day and over the course of the year.
If you’re feeling more daring with your DIY skills, a pergola is another great option for creating shade in your backyard. Fabric awnings and weather-proof curtains can be added for extra protection from the sun.
Create a Private Space with Shrubs
Tired of your neighbors watching your every move the second you step out of your door but not ready to fork over the cash for a privacy fence? Large shrubs can block the view of the nosy people next door and add some color to your own backyard. There’s a number of plants that make good privacy barriers, including:
- Areca palm trees
- Pencil holly
- White spruce
Be sure to do your research before planting. Depending on what climate you live in, some plants may fare worse than other choices. Some choices might be a little more labor-intensive as well and call for professional landscaping help.
Make Your Backyard Bigger
Even though you can’t actually make your backyard bigger, there are plenty of small backyard ideas on a budget to make it feel larger. One way to do this is to add different levels to your backyard with a DIY deck or raised patio area. This gives you a gathering space above the rest of the yard, creating an illusion of more room. There are a number of backyard deck ideas on a budget out there, from simple raised platforms to gazebo designs.
Another tactic is to use flower pots and containers— a staple in DIY backyard landscaping— to your advantage. If your yard is too small for a flower bed or garden, flower pots give you more options for planting, especially around concrete areas. Flowers like marigolds, petunias, snapdragons, and begonias all grow well in potted containers.
Add a Firepit
You can create an outdoor oasis by simply adding a fire pit. These are fun centerpieces that create opportunities for s’mores, weenie roasts, and fun nights, no matter the time of year. Firepits are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most home improvement and outdoor stores, as well as online retailers. If you want to take it a step further, invest in an outdoor fireplace. This will likely cost you more money but is a more permanent fixture.
Need some help creating the backyard of your dreams? Find a local contractor skilled in landscaping and lawn care in your area today!