Landscapes are an important feature in every home. It boosts your curb appeal, and the beautiful sight can benefit your mental health. Maintaining it, however, can feel like a chore, especially for first-time homeowners.
Though most garden plants are fairly low-maintenance, landscape upkeep is more than just keeping the plants alive. Your driveway, patio, outdoor light fixtures, and pavers are part of your landscape, too. One problem in any of those features can affect your whole curb appeal.
On top of that, you have nature to battle against. Nature-related issues, like overgrown branches, weed growth, and moss, are the top cost drivers of landscape maintenance. On average, it costs $100 to $200 every month to maintain a landscape. Those costs already cover watering the plants, fertilizing the soil, basic lawn care, and weeding.
And there are also hidden costs. You won’t always pay for them, but they can cause quite a surprise once they arise. Luckily, there are ways to control them. Below are the hidden costs of landscape maintenance and how to stave them off:
1. Gardener Cost
When you see beautifully landscaped gardens on the internet, it’s tempting to create one for your yard, too. But after the glamorous part comes the responsibilities. A beautiful landscape garden can’t maintain itself. It demands constant attention from you. If you find yourself unable to care for your landscape, you have no choice but to hire a gardener.
Gardeners don’t charge a steep fee; $1.50 to $3 per square foot is their average rate. You can save by having only a small portion of the landscape tended to. But in most cases, it’s more cost-efficient to have your whole landscape gardened. That could cost you up to $100 per visit of the gardener, but at least you don’t have to worry about your landscape upkeep anymore. Your gardener will take care of everything, from pruning to recommending which plants to raise per season.
2. Leaf Removal Cost
Even if it’s not autumn, fallen leaves tend to gather on yards. To save money on leaf removal, you can sweep them off yourself and pluck out the weeds while you’re at it. But this task is harder than it appears.
Dead leaves can kill and suffocate portions of your lawn. Combined with weeds, they can also create the ideal environment for pests. Those two problems can result in additional expenses.
Hiring a leaf removal professional can cost $205-$330 on average. Some charge an hourly rate or charge around $10 per bag of leaves removed. Others charge both an hourly rate and a per-bag rate, usually $12-$15 per hour plus $5-$15 per bag. The size of your landscape also determines the total costs.
3. Pest Control Costs
Insects are essential to the ecosystem, but they often do more harm than good in your landscape. The worst garden pests steal nutrients from your plants, feed on healthy stems and leaves, and cause discoloration on the foliage.
Professional pest control starts at $250 per perimeter and lawn application, on average. But luckily, you can DIY pest control procedures, and the results will be just as good as a pro’s work. Consider home remedies or natural pest control products. Don’t use chemical pesticides because they might harm your pets and the environment.
4. Sewer Line Repair Cost
Residential sewer lines run underneath the landscape. They don’t get damaged often, but if you have a deep-rooted tree in your yard, those roots can touch the sewer lines and break them.
Clogged sewer lines can cause a problem in your landscape, too. It may release dirty water and emit a foul odor all over the space. Corroded pipes are a nuisance as well, causing leaks that can seep through your landscape’s soil. In severe cases, they’d result in mold growth and infestation.
The average cost of repairing damaged sewer lines plays in between $1,073 and $4,054. Replacements, on the other hand, costs from $3,000-$25,000.
5. Gutter Cleaning Cost
Gutter maintenance is part of your landscape upkeep, too. That’s because if your gutters get clogged, they will channel runoff straight into your yard, making the soil mushy and causing unsightly puddles. The runoff can also compromise your home’s foundation.
Professional gutter cleaning costs $50-$80 per hour, on average. You can save money by doing the task yourself, although you need to be accustomed to heights. Also, you’d need protective equipment to prevent fall injuries. Don’t assume that you’ll always be safe, even if you normally clean your gutters without a harness. It’s better to spend on protective gear than for treating injuries.
Despite the hidden costs, though, owning a landscape is still appealing and beneficial. To reduce your costs to the lowest possible, choose simple designs and low-maintenance plants. A minimalist landscape can be as lovely as an opulent landscape.