No Cost Landscaping Ideas


Tired of your old yard but don't have the budget for major renovations? Don't let that stop you from sprucing up your landscaping. Here are several no-cost landscaping ideas to get you going.

Perennial Plants

The backbone of any landscape is the plants. Perennial plants, which come back and flower year after year, should be divided every several years to boost bloom production. A friend or neighbor may have perennials that they would be happy to give you if you do the work of dividing them.

Annual Seeds

Save the seeds from annuals. Annuals are plants that bloom profusely through one season and then die. Seed pods are easy to spot. Clip the pods or spent flower heads into a brown paper bag. Let them dry for a couple of days and shake the bag to separate the seeds. Plant the seeds, cover lightly with soil and water well.


Many plants are grown from cuttings. Clip a stem between two leaves about 6 inches back from the tip of the stem. Place it in water. After a week or two, new roots will start popping out. Another way to propagate from cuttings is to dust the cut end with rooting hormone, then put the dusted end in moist potting soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. In a few weeks, tuck gently. If roots have formed, the plants will feel firmly in place.

Free Plants

Plant nurseries periodically clean out their stock. The plants may look ragged and scraggly, but many will pop back to life with a little care. Ask the nursery if they would be willing to give you some of the plants rather than throwing them out.


Someone else's throwaway could be your treasure. Scout the neighborhood for estate and tag sales. At the very end of the sale, a few minutes before closing, see if there is some furniture that would fit in with your landscaping. Ask if you can have it. Often the answer is yes. The estate sale managers don't want to haul stuff off to the dump and would rather have you take it off their hands.

Churches have tag sales as well. At the end of the sale, you might be able to get just what you want for the price of carrying it off.

The last days of the month and the last weekend of the month are prime moving days. Take a drive around your neighborhood to see if anyone is moving and leaving furniture, yard tools and garden ornaments behind.

Online Sites for Free Stuff

People get rid of stuff they don't want by listing on sites such as Craigslist. It may take a while to find what you want in your city, so check the listings every day or so.

Free Mulch for the Home Garden

In an effort to encourage citizens to be more “green,” some municipalities offer to recycle post-holiday Christmas trees, tree limbs and other landscaping cuttings by running them through a wood chipper machine and turning them into mulch—a useful amendment for your garden soil or flower beds. They often give the mulch away for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

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  • Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free; Geoff Bryant; 2006
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