Cost-Conscious Landscaping for Seniors on a Budget

If you’re a senior with limits of both a physical and budgetary nature, it may be time to engage your creativity and willingness to try something new if you’re determined to have an attractive and welcoming yard. You can make it happen as long as you’re willing to employ some strategies that may seem unusual or impractical. You will need to consider some “out-of-the-box” options that fall within your budget and your abilities to maintain a landscape that appeals to you, earns the admiration of neighbors, and even raises your property value.

Recruit Help, Have a Plan

If you have limited mobility, arthritis, or some other health issue, you may need help when it comes to lugging around things like pavers, bricks, mulch, or bags of gravel or stones. This is a good time to call on a young relative with a strong back, preferably someone who also has a green thumb. Things will go a lot more smoothly if you make a plan first. Consider taking photos or video of your yard so you can determine how to properly arrange your landscaping.

Also, look for ways to save on gardening supplies by shopping at Lowe’s and taking advantage of in-store savings and cash back reward programs through sites like Ebates. It also pays to do some comparison shopping when it comes to mowing the lawn. The cost of paying a lawn service is just slightly more expensive than doing it yourself (about $270 annually), though you’ll avoid exerting yourself in the heat during the spring and summer.


Reduce Your Lawn Size

It makes sense that it’ll be easier and less expensive to develop the landscape you want if there’s less space to deal with. The benefits of doing so will be apparent right away. Select a portion of your lawn to replace with ground cover, such as hostas, salvia, or whatever is appropriate to your climate and growing season. Incorporate raised beds for easier access and elements of hardscaping such as gravel or stone over a landscape cover, which will reduce your need to fertilize and water and save money. Also, be sure to use a sturdy pair of gardening gloves.

Emphasize Perennials, Not Annuals

If you have large beds to fill, go with perennials over annuals, which will provide you with just one year of visual pleasure. Perennials, on the other hand, may last for several years. Planting rudbeckia, for example, will produce a strong root system and will be self-sustaining, whereas daisies will die at the end of the growing season. Planting hydrangea will have a similar effect and save you the cost and physical labor of replacing an annual every year.

Go Native

You can save significantly on fertilizer, pesticide, water and hours of back-aching labor by favoring native plants as much as possible. Native plants will flourish, whereas those that are native to other areas will require lots of special care. For example, if you live in the southwestern United States, planting cactus, Apache plume, Mexican evening primrose, black dalea, or chuparosa means less upkeep. If you aren’t sure what plants are native to your area, contact a gardening store or garden club, or do some research online.

When starting your landscaping adventure, remember to watch for savings on lawn supplies, and investigate ways to recycle by dividing existing plants and rooting new ones. There are many ways to save money and labor — carefully consider every one because, taken as a whole, they can help you create the landscape you’ve always wanted.


This article contributed by Bret Engle at  Check out his website for more projects like this.  Thanks, Bret!


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