Step 2 – Landscaping on a Cheap Budget Ideas

Remember how we talked about brainstorming in Step 1? Now get real with your landscaping budget. Your budget is unique but always based on the cost of time.

Start with small shrubs to save money. They will grow over many years, eventually reaching the window sill.

Start with small shrubs to save money. They will grow over many years, eventually reaching the window sill.

The older the plant, the more expensive it will be. 

Japanese maples (Acer japonica) and American boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens) are more expensive because they grow slowly. To save money and time, substitute crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) for jap. maple. Sub korean boxwood hybrids, Japanese holly, or ‘Conoy’ Viburnum for American Boxwood.

To dramatically cut cost, start with smaller plants. That usually means a three gallon tree or shrub. The three gallon size is the industry standard at retail.

It’s difficult to find, but a source for one gallon trees or shrubs is your most cost effective size. You will most likely find one gallon sizes from wholesalers or local garden centers.

Be wary, the older a plant is, the more time it takes for establishment. This means you may have to baby-sit larger plants because their small root system must develop into the ground before they become self-sufficient. Smaller trees and shrubs will establish more quickly. Larger plants have been in an artificial environment longer and need longer nursing care by you before becoming self-sufficient.

Provide the necessary free labor and dig your own holes to save on install.

This may seem obvious if you’re doing it yourself. Paying someone else to do the dirty work costs money. I wouldn’t be in business if this weren’t so! If you need large plants installed or you’re feeling overwhelmed, consult an expert. I provide a FREE site audit, just contact me, it can be done virtually!

Typically landscapers include the delivery and install in the price of a plant. If you know what you’re looking for, call around and get several estimates. You may learn that a landscaper buys wholesale and can install for the same price you would pay at retail. It never hurts to ask!

But is it really hard to install? Heck no, check out this hole digging article. You don’t have to finish in one day. At my home, I like to dig one hole a day until the project is completed.

What are you willing to spend this year on this project?

You don’t have to finish the entire landscape in one season. I believe in adding plants every season! If your budget is small, start with small plants and create new beds or foundation plantings each year. That way everything will be taken care of and nothing will die from neglect.

Once you have a budget in mind, go to Step 3, Garden Design Ideas and Common Expensive Mistake and How to Avoid.

Did you find what you’re looking for? If not, send me an email and I can help you figure out which plants to buy.