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DIY Landscaping on a Budget: 5 Tips to Get Great Results

Landscaping your own home can be rewarding, but it can also be very stressful. After all, there may be a lot more science behind it than you might think. But when you want to achieve DIY landscaping on a budget, there are many options. In the spring, the landscape seems to come alive. Tender leaves begin to pop up on the trees and colorful tulips begin to bloom. Now is the perfect time to plan your home landscaping projects so you can have them in place by the time summer rolls around. 


Tip #1: Consult with a pro. 

Wait, isn’t this a DIY landscaping on a budget article? Yes, it is– but while you don’t have to use a professional to get the job done, consulting with one for thirty minutes or an hour will give you a ton of insight you may not have known you even needed to begin with. 

Professional landscapers are usually happy to consult for a modest fee, and doing that first can save you a ton of hassle later on. From determining drainage needs to deciding what ornamental tree cross-pollinates with what and finding out that your favorite roses won’t bloom where you think they’d look best to the fact that the fantastic shrub you’ve had your eye on is a magnet for insect pests, a professional landscaper can at least help to give you some information that’ll make your DIY landscaping on a budget efforts worthwhile. 

It’s true– the key to a professional looking landscaping result is a professional. But you don’t need to have a professional do the job for you; you’ll just want him to guide you. 

Tip #2: Don’t try to outdo yourself. 

DIY landscaping on a budget should be kept simple for the best looking results. While you may want a fancy koi pond with 37 varieties of rare orchids, it’s best to leave the big jobs to those with big time experience– and big budgets. 

Stick with plant varieties that are hardy and require little maintenance, like slow growing shrubs that only need to be pruned once a year. While it’s fine to have some more “interesting” variety in your landscaping beds, keep the majority of greenery simple and just add in some more festive accent plants. This way, if your loftier foliage goals fail, you’ll still have the simpler varieties to fall back on and your endeavors won’t go to waste. 

With that having been said, it’s important to recognize your own limitations. Some larger jobs may not be feasible for a novice landscaper and may require professional assistance. Know your own capacity so you can plan accordingly and get your yard looking beautiful on your own terms.

Tip #3: Keep it functional. 

From paver patios to fire pits and garden swings to ornate statues, try to keep your DIY landscaping on a budget ideas useful. Don’t focus too much on elements that serve only aesthetic purposes when it comes to furniture or decor. That doesn’t mean you have to choose items that are ugly, however. Just make sure you keep your focus on spaces that will actually be used and appreciated, because otherwise your hard work will be done in vain. 

You’ll also want to make sure the maintenance for the items you choose is doable for you. Don’t spent your time creating a wooden bridge to cross over the creek that runs through your yard if you can’t commit the time required to refinish and weatherproof it every year or it will become an eyesore in no time.

Tip #4: The multi-year plan.

Depending on the plans you’ve made for your yard, you may want to consider biting off small chunks of your DIY landscaping goals at a time. Divide large projects into two, three, four, or even five year installments so you’ll actually get the results you truly want, and plan accordingly. 

This can help you extend your budget tremendously and will help to ensure the job gets done correctly and exactly the way you envision it. Being realistic is a great way to make sure your DIY landscaping on a budget dreams actually become a reality for you. 

Tip #5: Stick to your financial and time budgets. 

It is easy to let any home project balloon into double or triple whatever the initial time or financial commitment was. If you’re doing DIY landscaping on a budget, don’t let that happen. Try to stay on task and remain focused. Don’t get distracted by tons of new ideas, as they’ll do nothing but derail your initial plans and leave your with a big mess instead of a beautiful yard. 

Come up with not only a financial budget, but a time budget as well. It’s OK to waver slightly from your initial time budget, but try to keep your time investment in check so you don’t wind up frustrated with the project.