It’s no surprise that our winters wreak havoc on our lawns. I know that my flower bed gets destroyed every year, even when I manage to cover it up before a freeze.
And if you’ve started looking through your Yearly Maintenance Guide, then you’ll see that Spring is the perfect time to take care of our lawns and flower beds. And you’ll likely improve that resale “curb appeal” too!
So let’s talk about what it’s going to take, and how to plan for it so the clean up and fill in doesn’t bust your monthly budget.
Clean It Up
You’ll want to start by getting things cleaned up and assess any damage. This will help you get a clear picture of the work you’ve got ahead of you.
Start with removing debris, dead foliage, fallen branches, fallen leaves, and remove old mulch from your flower or garden beds. You can also remove any shrubs or plants that maybe you don’t want anymore.
You’ll want to look for new sprouts at the base of your plants that may look dead and cut back their limbs. I like to give them a week or two to see how well they are coming back to determine if I want to buy a new one or leave it to regrow. With everything cleaned up, you’ll know what to budget for to fill in any empty space.
None of this clean up can happen without the right supplies. So take an inventory of your garden tools. Are they broken, rusty, needing a good sharpening? Make a list of the items you need to replace to make this clean up and replanting easy. Good tools always make projects like this go a lot smoother.
Clean up is mostly all about your “sweat equity” to see some improvement. But you will want to budget for a few things:
Garden gloves – $10-15
Lawn bags – 5 for less than $3.00
Small garden tools – $15-25 each
Rake – $15-35 depending on the style you prefer
Fill It In
Now that things are all cleaned up, you have a clear picture of what damage has been done that you’ll want to rectify. Take a walk around any grassy areas to see if there are any dead patches.
If your Bermuda lawn has dead patches, you can use off-the-shelf seeds to repair them. Bermuda is a good drought-tolerant turf that holds up well in the hot Texas weather.
If you’re a St. Augustine grass owner, you’ll be filling in your patches with sod squares that are sold by the “piece” or “pallet”. Plan on budgeting a little more for this type of grass. Measure out how much you’ll need, hopefully just a few patches, and shop around for your best price.
And now the fun part! Let’s get your flowers, plants, shrubs, and even trees if you want, planned out. If you’re a seasoned lawn keeper-upper and you know what plants work for your lawn, then this part should be easy. Keep doing what you’re doing. Personally, I’ve got some favorite plants (Rosemary, Hibiscus, Gardenia) that I replant every year and I also try new ones!
If you’re a new homeowner and or just newer to having a lawn to keep up with, then you’ll want to do a little research. Depending on your lawn layout (sun exposure, ground slope, etc.), pick plants that will be easily maintained….and you probably don’t want to spend a lot up front. Build your lawn and budget over time as you’re learning.
After things are all planted, getting mulch down will not only give your lawn and beds a clean and crisp appearance, but it will help improve moisture levels and maintain soil temperatures as well.
This step of filling in your lawn with turf and plants will likely be the costliest part of the budget. Here’s what to budget for:
Shovel – $15-35
Flowers/Plants/Shrubs – $5-50 each depending on the look you are going for
Grass seed or squares – $40-$500 depending on extent of the damage
Top soil/Garden soil – $5-10 per bag
Mulch – $4 per bag
Now that you’ve got you’re lawn looking amazing, you just need to maintain it throughout the year.
Plan to water, fertilize, and weed your flower beds frequently. This might be once a week or every couple of weeks depending on the weather and types of plants you have.
As for the main lawn, I’m no expert on lawn fertilization and weed prevention…yep, we outsource it! In a previous article, Three Yearly Home Service Contract to Save Your Budget, we talked about using professionals for maintenance and piece of mind. Well, you can do this for your lawn care too. We personally budget for this extra expense so that our lawn fertilization and weed control is covered over the course of the year with roughly 7 visits from our specialist.
You’ll want to mow, weed eat, and edge your lawn every week or so, again depending on how quickly your grass grows and your weather. This is another service you can outsource if your year-long budget allows.
Maintaining your lawn is a year-round process, so this step of your cleanup budget will likely be a little up front, then more spread out over time. Overall, you’ll want to budget for:
Fertilizers – $9-50 depending on frequency
Lawn equipment maintenance & repairs – $25 & up
Lawn maintenance – $0 and up if you outsource
I know this seems like a lot, but that’s why I recommend you start your planning in late winter so that you can budget appropriately and not be overwhelmed with a big expense all at once. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about your Spring Lawn planning.
And I’d love to see your lawn’s progress pics, so shoot me an Email with them!
I'm Brooke and I love helping first-time homebuyers in the Austin area make their first home more affordable!
I'll keep your goals in mind before, during, and after you make your real estate moves.
11215 S IH-35, Ste 110
Austin, TX 78747
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