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10 Ways to Save Some Green on Lawn Care
It’s getting to be really cliché to talk about saving money in these times. I mean let’s be honest… when has it ever been a bad idea to save a few bucks? One great place for a homeowner to save though is with lawn care costs. Actually, this applies to anyone that is responsible for their own yard whether they rent or own; or have a single-family home versus live in a condo, etc. It’s surprising how quickly basic lawn maintenance can add up into meaningful money. So while continuing to keep your lawn green, here are 10 ways that you can SAVE some green ($$$$’s).
- Mowing your own yard. Yes, it actually is still possible to acquire lawnmowers and to mow your own yard. Even though you may be able to pay a lawn service or the kid down the street $10 to do it for you. Why not pocket the money and use that mower that is sitting out there in the garage collecting dust. Even if you don’t have one, you can get one for under $200 at almost any Target, Home Depot, WalMart, Lowes, etc. Better yet, pick one up on Craigslist from someone that has retired from mowing their own yard.
- Lower the blade for a close cut. You can also lower the mower blade to cut your yard a bit shorter. Be careful though, you don’t want to scalp the yard that is not the point. The idea is to just cut it a little shorter to stretch out how long the cut will last before you have to mow again.
- Electric mowers or Manual mowers. One other consideration to avoid having to fill up the tank every time you mow is to use an electric mower or go really old school with a manual mower (don’t act so surprised, you know what they look like). This can save you a couple of dollars every time you mow your yard and again, that adds up. Here is a site that covers reel and rotary mowers: http://www.peoplepoweredmachines.com/reel-mower/reel_defined.htm.
- Reduce lawn care service trips – Okay, if you are just realistically not going to be mowing your own yard. You can also save money by reducing the frequency of the service calls. So go to every other week versus every week and then make sure they lower their blades, etc.
- Trimming and Edging can go Electric – In general electric weed eaters, trimmers, and edgers all cost less to initially purchase and to maintain than their gas-based cousins. In addition they are A LOT quieter for your family and neighbors.
- Negotiate with your lawn care service provider – Tell him to knock some money off of each trip if you decide you will edge and trim and all they have to do is mow (or some similar variation). Of course you could just get multiple competitive bids to drive the price down as well. NOTE: this also goes for any lawn treatments that you normally order for your lawn (stretch them out too).
- Water less often – If you have a sprinkler system or use manual sprinklers to water your yard you can try to reduce the times you water. For instance, if you just have sprinklers on a timer you might alter the schedule if you get enough rain or expect rain, etc. Basically only water when you need to water and that will help save on your water bill.
- Water the lawn at dawn or dusk. You don’t want to water your yard in the heat of the day because too much of the water will immediately evaporate and not be getting to your lawn. If you water at dusk or dawn you will increase the amount of water your lawn gets each time and usually reduce the number of times per week that you have to water.
- Make your own fertilizer. Okay, this sounds either gross or really hard to do, but in fact it is very possible and can save you quite a bit of money. Here is a great article that I came across on the subject.
- Spot treat your weeds. If you pay for pesticides to be spread over your yard you may want to try skipping the service and just manually spot treating weeds as they sprout up. Granted, there is some risk to this but if you run into a problem you can always call out a lawn care specialist to help you (don’t wait for your lawn to get over-run before calling though).
There are definitely other ways to save money on yard work. However, most of them will involve more work from you, family, and/or friends. I mean in the end it’s generally the labor that is the expensive part and where most of the savings lie. The more you do yourself, the more you save and you also get a greater feeling of appreciation for your yard in the process (win/win).