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How Much Money Do You Spend On Your Garden?

Adding a garden to your landscape enhances the value of your property and intensifies the aesthetics of your surroundings. The size and style of your garden will determine the cost involved in installation.

Garden Size

One of the most important factors when calculating the cost of installing a garden is its size, the manpower, the equipment and the amount of time needed to complete the project.

Garden viewSmall projects can be accomplished by using manual garden tools. Large gardens will require well-designed plan combined with extensive ground work. The average prices are listed below.

Lot size 500 square feet or less – $500
Lot size 500 – 1000 square feet – $800
Lot size 1,000 – 2,000 square feet – $1,200
Lot size 2,000 – 4,000 square feet – $1,500
Lot size 4,000 – 5,000 square feet – $2,000

Garden Design

Many people choose to engage the help of a professional designer. It is an important consideration especially for big landscaping project as the price can be steep for creating a diagram of the property and implementing special features such as sculptures, water fountains, manmade ponds and flower beds.

Typical designer may charge anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars if he/she is required to oversee the project to its completion.

Floral decorationThe contractor fees will also vary, but usually start with an initial deposit of $500 for smaller gardens, and $1,000 for larger designs. The complexity and style of your design will be the deciding factor in obtaining a fair estimate of the cost.

Irrigation and Drainage Systems

The irrigation systems are less costly if installed during the initial ground preparations. The landscapers are typically the most qualified professionals to recommend proper and most efficient sprinkler or drainage equipment to be installed.

The type of soil, the size and the design of your garden will determine the cost. The national average ranges from $800 to $1,500.

It is an important part of planning the installation of the garden as it will establish the health of your landscape for many years to come and simplify any ongoing maintenance. Proper irrigation will prevent the water pooling in undesirable areas.

Budget and costIt will also keep the entire garden watered evenly, and it will alleviate the possibility of flooding during heavy rains. Correctly installed drainage system will also prevent sewage and septic systems from backing up, but it may involve the removal of excessive debris from your garden. Additional cost may be added for hauling the waste remains away.

Replacement Installations

Complete evaluation of the existing conditions is essential when planning to replace some or the entire current garden. Bare dirt may require some soil enhancement and tilting, and the cost is generally within $500. When replacing some of the existing landscape, some of the plants, shrubs and turf may have to be removed for an average price of $800.

Replacing the entire garden will require removal of all sod, plants and bushes. Soil amendment may be necessary along with replacing the mulch to create positive ground flora to receive new plants, flowers, vegetables or herbs. The average cost is $1,000.

Garden Edging Guide

Your garden can look neat and attractive with an alluring edging that will give the perimeter of your yard a finished look. Without the edging, the grass and weeds tend to encroach and will require constant attention and maintenance. Many different materials can be used to create a useful yet immaculate look. These include:

  • Bricks
  • Stones and rocks
  • Landscape timbers
  • Plastic edging

The edging can be installed above the soil level to achieve a well-manicured look of your garden. The types of materials you install depend on your taste and budget as well as on the visual effect you are trying to create.

Garden coast Many people use the materials they can find in their yards such as rocks and stones alleviating the cost entirely. However, other materials may have to be purchased at the home and garden supply store or obtained from the landscaper who will also perform the installation. The average cost may exceed $50 per foot of edging.  

Pathways

Perhaps the most expensive and time consuming part of creating a garden is installation of the pathways in medium to large-sized plots. There is an endless list of materials that can be used to create the walkways around the gardens, and the prices also greatly very on the amount of materials used and the labor involved with it.

Stone pathways are priced at $3,000 per 200 square feet; whereas, concrete walkways may cost $1,500 per 200 square feet. The amount of labor, location and time involved are the major factors in regards to pricing.

Many consumers choose to obtain several estimates from local contractors and compare the prices before making their final decision.

What to Choose

There are many types and styles of gardening. Many people garden for pure enjoyment of the experience and the attractiveness of the plants and flowers they cultivate.

Others choose to garden for profit or to save money and eat healthy. Vegetable and herb gardens are the typical examples of how a family can manage their finances better by gardening.

Vegetable Garden

The research done in recent years on economics of home gardening shows that the initial investment of $200 can yield over a half a ton of fresh, chemically free produce which can be consumed at home, shared with others or sold at the farmer’s market for profit.

The factors that determine the actual profit include the cost of the seeds, compost, tools and time invested into cultivating and harvesting the vegetables.

An average, half a pound of fresh produce can be produced for each square foot of garden when considering the investment and current market prices.

Vegetable gardeningIf you are starting a new garden, you may want to consider using the soil you already have bringing the cost down to zero. However, vegetable garden soil may need to be supplemented to improve nutrient density and texture.

If you live near a farmland, the local farmers may allow you to use their matured manure free of charge. The manure should be incorporated with the top layer of the existing soil to ensure better crop growth and harvest.The manure can also be purchased at a low cost of $20 per truckload and added throughout the season as needed.

Soil testing should be done before planting. Local garden centers sell the kits for $12. It is a good investment as it will reveal if your soil has proper texture, nutrient levels and breathability. Clay soil may have to be supplemented with sand and compost.

Each bag of 40 pounds costs anywhere between $3-$5. Sandy soil may have to be enhanced by a mixture of compost and chopped leaves. Use the materials in your yard to keep the cost down.

It is recommended to create your own compost pile to save the money. For example, you can do it, chipping organic material with a chipper shredder.Continuous composting will alleviate the need for trips to the store and will help keeping your garden healthy and plentiful every season.

It is more cost effective to begin your garden using seeds. They can be purchased for just a few dollars and each pocket contains 800-2,000 seeds. Starter plants are more expensive, but provide quicker results.

The mature plants are significantly more costly and may add several hundreds of dollars to the initial expense of starting a new garden.

In addition, many communities hold annual seed exchange. Community garden clubs, nurseries, churches and other local organizations frequently have seed and plant sales in the spring.

Ultimately, you may want to consider trading with the local gardeners at different local events or by joining a local garden club to exchange the ideas, tips on savings and how to swap produce, seeds and seedlings between each other.

Herb Gardens

Herb gardens have gained much popularity in recent years due to raised awareness of organic, green living. Relatively easy to grow and maintain, herb gardens are easier to cultivate than vegetable gardens and also less expensive.

When considering installing an herb garden, it is advisable to visit a local nursery to obtain information about local growing conditions and best ways to cultivate herbs. Local garden centers often conduct free classes about gardening and where to find additional advice.

On average, a professional gardener will charge $250 to arrange a garden bed, test the soil, apply fertilizer and sow up to eight varieties of seeds. In order to save money, the seeds can be purchased cheaply and planted by you.

Herb gardeningThe preparation of the herb bed will involve removing the weeds, old plants and rocks. The soil can be mulched by hand tools if the garden area is relatively small.

Depending on the condition of the soil, new top soil may have to be added along with organic matter to increase the nutrient levels. Many professional gardeners offer combine services at a lower price if a customer plans on creating several herb beds at the same time.

Gardening for Profit

Because the initial cost of installing, operating and maintain any garden is relatively high, many people exercise an option of gardening for profit to receive a return on their investment.

ProfitIt is also a great way to supplement your income if you already know the basic fundamentals of gardening and enjoy the daily tending and raising the crops. The tips below may help you begin to garden for profit.

  • The beginning stages should include researching the local farmers markets and grocery stores to learn what types of produce is being sold with success. As you become more familiar with gardening, you may choose to expand into more exotic choices, but during the initial process, you should concentrate on selling the most common produce, such as garlic, onions, cucumbers and other popular items.
  • Consider selling fresh produce along with seeds and starter plants. Plant extra crops to ensure bountiful harvest large enough to satisfy the needs of your family as well as selling extras.
  • Take into account growing indoors as well as outdoors. It will prolong the growing season if you are able to cultivate year round and sell on a continuous basis. If you experience regular pest infestations, planting indoors with non-toxic pesticides will prevent repeated occurrences of the same problem.
  • In hot weather, water and weed you plants daily to ensure they do not have to compete with other vegetation for moisture and nutrients.
  • Your crops should be fertilized regularly with organic products. It will ensure healthy produce and high sales.
  • Your plants must be trimmed when necessary and washed right before selling them to visually entice the buyers. Clean and healthy looking produce translates to quick sales and constant demand.
  • When packaging seeds or dried herbs, use environmentally friendly packaging materials with your label displaying the name, phone number, address and email for future contact from the customers.
  • Consider obtaining a website publishing your location and the type of products you offer. Local customers are sure to contact you if you sell quality produce. Once you establish a large customer base, you may want to think about shipping on a national level.
  • Harvest the seeds from your plants at the end of each season and use them the following year or sell them for more profit.
  • Purchase a space at the local farmer’s market. Diversifying what you sell will bring more income through several seasons during the year. Increase your profit by marketing to friends, family and local businesses.
  • Attend events such as festivals or carnivals can make your name known within the community. Your entire family can participate and children make great sales by engaging in the activity.
  • Join Community Supported Agriculture program. It is a cooperative way to distribute and sell the fruits of your labor while promoting healthy eating habits.

Gardening is a labor of passion and love. You experience a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction while connecting with the earth and nature at the same time.

However, the main benefit is being able to feed your family healthy, organically grown food and use the profits for other projects in your home.

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