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Harsh winters will often take a toll on your landscape and turn a beautiful arrangement into something you hardly recognize. Fortunately, you can refresh your outdoor spaces each spring with budget landscaping choices that add curb appeal and delight without being too costly. Follow along for a few tips on how to refresh your lawn after a particularly rough season.

Revitalize Your Existing Environment

Professional yard crews may be making the rounds in your neighborhood, but if you have the time and ability, you can save money by taking on some of the chores yourself. Start with simple tasks such as raking up leaves, pulling weeds, hedging, pruning, and mulching.

This work will not only improve the look of your landscape, but it can also help you determine which plants have survived the rough conditions and which might need to be replaced. Keep in mind, though, that some plants stay dormant longer than others, and they may need extra time to awaken before you decide to pull them up.

Fertilizing should be on your to-do list as well since it can help plants, trees, and lawns flourish. In addition, consider taking the time to paint any pots and planters that look a little rough around the edges.

Buy Seeds and Bulbs

Maybe, like me, you've waited months to see a beautiful yard again. But, if you can wait just a little longer, you'll save more by planting seeds and bulbs rather than buying more developed "transplants" from a home improvement store or garden center. You can even start growing seedlings indoors before it's time to move them outside.

As a bonus, you can use different kinds of seeds to fill in bare spots of your lawn. Planting grass seed requires patience to see results, but it's more economical than laying sod — the patches of mature turf you can buy at stores. Likewise, there are seed varieties that can grow wonderfully in problematic shady areas where sod just won't take.

Shop with Many Factors in Mind

Even if you plant seeds and bulbs, there will probably be some professionally grown flowers and shrubs you'll want to purchase. If you do, consider these options:

  • Perennials: Unlike annuals, which only live through a single growing season, perennials should continue to thrive under the right conditions. Many perennials actually grow so much that you can divide and replant them, which is another way to get an even bigger return on your investment.
  • Plants with Low Water Requirements: These can save you in irrigation costs. Plants that are native to your area, for instance, are often water efficient because they are adapted to the local conditions. The National Wildlife Federation can help you locate native plants.
  • Plants for Landscape: Some plants may be a good match for your landscape's light and soil. For example, you may love flowers that require full sun; however, if your yard is primarily shady, you'll want to find alternatives.

Seek Solutions for Large Areas

You don't need to cover every inch of your landscape, but if you have large sections you need to fill, research fast-growing, low-maintenance options that would flourish in your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. There are likely a number of ground covers, herbs, and ornamental grasses that would work perfectly.

In addition, consider adding decorative stones like pea gravel, river rocks, or small boulders. These can be attractive substitutes for plants if you find the right locations. They don't need to cost much, and they don't need to be replaced each year.

With so many budget landscaping possibilities, you can feel good about bringing a little life back to your yard without emptying your wallet.


This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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