Making Your Plant Budget Go the Distance

Coins in soil Making Your Plant Budget Go the Distance

For most beginner gardeners or new homeowners knowing how to budget for their new landscape is often intimidating.  Do we get a plan drawn up for us or do we research it ourselves?  How much should we spend and where do we put the most dollars?  Everyone’s budget is different and expectations on how long the landscape should take to mature are also different.

The first step is the budget and the best way to start is with a rough guideline.  5 to 15 percent of the price of your home is a good guideline.  Before you say that is way too much you will be happy to know that your fence, deck and walkways should be included in this budget.  From here spend a day going to your local garden centers with no intention on buying product but to check prices and sizes available.  If you have multiple garden centers in the area visit a few of them because you may find price differences as well as product quality and selection.  Whether you decide to do this project yourself or have a professional landscaper/designer draw you a plan you now have a very basic understanding of what things cost.

landscape plan Making Your Plant Budget Go the Distance

If a higher budget is in your future or you just don’t know where to start; having a plan drawn up maybe the way to go.  Remember most plans are one idea of what your yard should look like and plan changes may result in further expenses and cut into your plant budget.  What most people do not know is the local garden centers are often more than willing to help you with your ideas at no cost if buying plants from them.  Pictures of the area are a great idea to bring as they show what is beyond your yard that may need to be hidden by plants.  After they give you ideas and names of plants, use a website like to view these plants and find out more information about them and their compatibility with other plants.  Once again these are only suggestions and by looking at the plant website you may find other plants that are more suitable for your needs.

To save money if buying and planting yourself then here are a few suggestions.  Start with your trees and make sure they are placed properly.  Trees cannot easily be moved in the future and often give you privacy from neighbor’s decks and/or windows.  Large caliper trees can be purchased but usually delivery and planting will need to be done by someone else because they are so heavy.  Money spent on delivery and planting could go to more plants.  Trees in pots range in many sizes up to a 2-inch trunk and are much lighter. The cost of the largest size pot may seem higher than the smallest size of the caliper tree but remember you will save delivery and planting costs if you can do it yourself.  A good rule of thumb is if trying to get the most out of your dollar is to buy larger trees and smaller shrubs. Trees take much longer to mature than shrubs so it will appear your yard is maturing naturally.  Evergreen tree and shrubs are also slower growing then deciduous trees and shrubs so you may want to spend more money on them.  Last thing to plant would be smaller perennials and annuals as these can easily be moved if plans change.  Most landscapes take up to 5 years to complete so that may also help you determine and maximize your budget.

Young woman buying flowers

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Rich - Bylands Account Representative

My personal garden is now 17 years old and most of the trees 19 years. shrubs, evergreens and perennial beds are all bordered with large sandstone boulders.  Two reasons I have had to replant each year are: Shasta Daisy was a white German Shepherd and Georgia Peach is a caramel with white and black Shepherd, Husky something cross.  My dogs are always named after plants.