How to Spruce up Your Backyard on a Budget

How to Spruce up Your Backyard on a Budget

Are you looking to upgrade your outdoor space? While searching for inspiration online, you’ll likely run into images of luxurious, expensive-looking backyards that can tempt you to buy pricey furniture and decor. Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive steps you can take to turn your backyard into an outdoor oasis!

Read on to find out how you can spice up your backyard on a budget.

Start at the source

While decadent decor and furniture can be a nice touch to your garden, it’s best to start at the source—greenery! Quality mulch, grass, and shrubbery can transform the look and feel of your yard from drab to lively. Most importantly, you need to put down quality mulch so that greenery can grow full and hearty. But, can you get quality mulch while on a budget? You sure can! There are expensive natural fertilizer mixtures, but they also can be replicated with much lower-cost alternatives, such as:

Grass Clippings

After mowing your lawn, save the grass clippings and allow them to dry out. Once they’re fully dry, you can put them on your garden beds as an inexpensive mulch alternative.


Many lawnmowers have a mulching option that allows you to catch clippings and mulch them into finely shredded pieces. This can be done with leaves as well so that you can save the mulch to put it on garden beds.

 Pine Needles

Also known as “pine straw”, pine needle mulch is a low-maintenance mulch alternative that’s easy to spread.


If you’re into composting, you can put the contents of your compost bin to good use by spreading a 2-to-4-inch layer around your perennials to prevent weeds from emerging around them.


Although not ideal for all plants, pebbles, rocks, and gravel can be great for keeping greenery at bay and blocking weeds. Lay it down around furniture areas or even as a pathway.

gardening at glory and steel

Add pops of color

Little pops of color can bring life to any space, including the outdoors! It’s a great idea to add colors into your garden that contrast against the heavy greenery. This can be as simple as planting flowers or even painting your fence or planters throughout the yard. If you’d like to plant floral plants throughout your yard, you may want to opt for perennials because they typically last more than two years. A little pop of color can go a long way!

Repurpose old materials

When you’re on a budget, upcycling is your best friend. A great way to make use of old furniture or tools that are hard to get rid of is by repurposing them into other items. A few popular items to repurpose are:

Tires can be repurposed into a variety of items but most people like to use them as hanging planters or, if you have kids, a tire swing on a sturdy tree is another awesome way to add fun flair to your yard.

Kitchen pots and pans are a great alternative to planters. Got an old pot that’s burnt beyond use? Putting some herbs in it and placing it in the garden is a great way to get use out of it!

Old planters can sometimes be a little too bland for your liking. The good news is that they’re quick and easy to paint to update the color and decor of any garden.

Mirrors that no longer match your indoor decor can be put to good use in your outdoor garden. Adding a mirror to your outdoor space can create the feeling of more space in the garden by bouncing light and greenery around. Simply add a coat of wood-preserving outdoor paint to keep the mirror and its frame looking brand new.

tire planters

Plant useful flora

All plants are beautiful—why not plant a few that can be useful to you as well! Cut the cost of groceries by growing vegetables and herbs in your own backyard. The following are a few easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables:

Cucumbers grow really well when supplied with plenty of natural mulch and fertilizer. While they aren’t known for being full of nutrients, they provide hydration with 95% water content.

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, which makes it a great choice for garden beds. It grows best in cooler climates, so we suggest you grow it during the Fall or Spring.

Snap peas are a sweet and delicious snack that contain a third of your Vitamin C intake! They’re another plant that grows best in cooler soil, so Fall or Spring is the best time to get started.

Basil is a useful herb that we all know and love. Plant basil in an area with full sun so it can grow to its fullest potential.

Cilantro is prominent in Mexican and Southeast Asian cooking and is known for its fresh, summer tang. Plant cilantro early in the season so that it can grow fully.

Parsley is full of Vitamin A and C and grows best in fertile soil that’s moist. It pairs nicely with compost mulch!

Thyme is most often used in stews and soups and loves full sunlight.

garden vegetables

On top of that, there are a number of plants that are natural bug repellents. Try adding these plants to your garden to enjoy a bug-free yard!

Lavender: Not only does lavender look and smell amazing, but it also repels mosquitos, fleas, flies, and moths.

Lemongrass: This tall grassy plant does a great job of repelling mosquitoes.

Basil: Also a delicious herb, basil, mosquitos, moths, and flies tend to stay away from its smell.

Mint: An attractive garnish and lovely looking plant, make sure to keep an eye on mint as it tends to grow rapidly. For easy care, keep it in a planter as a natural mosquito repellent.

Chrysanthemums: This beautiful pink floral plant contains a natural insecticide called pyrethrin which repels ticks, spider mites, Japanese beetles, and other garden pests.

Petunias: These flowers come in a variety of colors and are popularly planted near cruciferous veggies to prevent certain bugs from munching on them. They repel leafhoppers, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and aphids.

Marigolds: This yellow plant attracts certain insects like ladybugs that keep away pests like mosquitoes and cabbage worms.

Add fun decor!

glory and steel yard art

Garden and yard decor can be quite expensive, but there are a few beautiful, inexpensive options out there that can be a great addition to your backyard. Glory & Steel’s metal yard art comes in over 60 designs and is hand-crafted from Premium Steel, made to stand up to the elements and grow more beautiful with age. From fairies, to dogs, to patriotic shapes, there are plenty of options available so you can turn your outdoor space into the yard of your dreams. Click here to upgrade your yard!


View All Articles Newer Post
Search the store
Spread the word
Join the ARGAN vip club

Stay up to date with our latest offers!