5. Wait Until Season’s End
Just like clothing retailers, nurseries try to push last season’s plants, shrubs, and trees out the door through clearance sales to make room for new merchandise. These price cuts can result in huge savings for consumers who are willing to bide their time. Look for deeply discounted plants at the end of spring and summer. Even if the leaves and flowers look scorched and unkempt, a healthy, green stem means that they are perfectly salvageable as long as you plant them quickly and water them sufficiently.
Markdowns usually start slowly at the end of the season, boasting price cuts of 10% to 20%. However, if you wait until you’re deep into the next season, you can find incredible markdowns on plants from anywhere between 50% to 90%. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate, since managers are typically eager to clear their shelves. It never hurts to ask.
6. Make Homemade Stepping Stones
Stepping stones are a nice addition to any landscape design because they connect components of your lawn with an easy-to-walk pathway. Unfortunately, however, store-bought stepping stones can cost anywhere between $20 and $50 each, which can set you back several hundred dollars for even a short garden path.
Instead of purchasing stepping stones, create beautifully homemade pathways. You need a 40-pound bag of quick-setting cement (less than $8), a shovel or hand-shovel for mixing ($5 to $15), a paint bucket ($3), a ruler ($1), a bag of decorative marbles or shells ($5), and several shallow cardboard boxes. Mix the cement with three pints of water in your paint bucket – you can adjust the amount of cement and water, but the general rule is six pints per every 80-pound bag (check the directions on your bag). Once mixed, pour the cement into a square-shaped cardboard box to create a form. Then, simply place marbles or colored glass in the cement and let it dry for adorable stepping stones with a homemade touch.
You can check on the dryness of the cement after 24 hours. If it’s sufficiently set, simply cut or peel away the cardboard.