Landscaping on a budget should not involve accommodation for a scruffy looking courtyard. From plants to patios, from windows to water games, find out how to save money while designing an attractive site from the resources connected to the bottom.

Many homeowners are obsessed with weed control, and their obsession drives them to spend money unnecessarily on weed killers like crab killers. If they succeed in these weed-hunting witch hunts, the result is a monoculture. But experts, including Paul James of HGTV, advise us to accept a certain percentage of weeds in the lawn. Their argument is that lawns with a certain diversity remain healthier than meadows reduced to a monoculture.

This argument goes doubly when the herb in question is clover, as I note in my article on clover lawns. Clover is a nitrogen fixer, which shares this ability with other cover crops in the pea family. The clover will fertilize your lawn at no cost, freeing you from following a lawn fertilization program and saving money on chemical fertilizers.

Two questions might come up in your mind at this point:

  1. How can I reduce the size of my lawn? I don’t want to spray aggressive chemicals on the grass to kill it, because I want to be able to let my children and / or pets play in this area.
  2. After reducing the size of my lawn, what do I put in place of the grass? Will it not cost as much to maintain the area when something else is growing there?

In my complete article on how to get rid of the herb, I present a number of methods, with particular attention to staying away from chemical herbicides. Perhaps the most popular method at present is to lay down newspapers to kill the grass.

What you replace the grass depends largely on your personal preferences and circumstances. Those with Spartan tastes who live in a rural setting and are not interested in keeping up with the Joneses can simply lay the fabric out of the landscape and cover it with the cheapest mulch they can find. 

the decomposition process will be slowed, with the result of saving money that you will not have to replace the mulch by frequency. If you want to dress the area, there is no rule that tells you that you can’t install some port gardens there (like you would do in a patio).