Creating an Amazing Landscape on a Slope Without Breaking the Bank

How To Landscape A Steep Slope On A Budget

How to Landscape a Steep Slope on a Budget

Whether you have a large backyard, a steep slope, or a small balcony, landscaping can transform your space into a beautiful and functional outdoor area. Gardening can be expensive, but with the right techniques and planning, it doesn't have to be. This article will provide tips for planting on a budget, and for leveraging natural resources to transform a landscape on a budget.

Preparing Soil for Planting

When preparing soil for planting, the most important factor to consider is the drainage. Plant roots need oxygen and water to survive, and if the soil does not drain properly, the soil can become waterlogged and the plants will die. The ideal soil type has good drainage, is well aerated, and has plenty of organic matter to retain water and help with nutrient storage.


  • Good drainage
  • Well aerated
  • Plenty of organic matter

Pros Cons

  • Pros: Good drainage will ensure that plant roots can access the water they need, while having good aeration will keep the soil oxygen-rich. Organic matter will also help retain water and provide essential nutrients for the plants.
  • Cons: Preparing soil for planting on a budget may require extensive manual labor. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase soil that is already prepared for planting.

Best Practices

The best way to prepare soil on a budget is to use the natural resources in your environment. If you have access to free or low-cost compost, this is an excellent way to improve drainage and increase organic matter in the soil. You can also incorporate mulch or leaf litter into the soil to provide additional moisture and help retain nutrients.

Case Study: Stephanie's Garden

Stephanie wanted to have a garden on her steep and rocky slope, but didn't have the budget for soil amendments or expensive compost. With a little research, she was able to find several local sources of free leaf litter and wood chips that she used to improve the quality of the soil. After digging in the leaf litter and wood chips into the soil, Stephanie was able to plant her garden with relative ease.

Planting Trees: Selection Care

When selecting trees for a landscape, it is important to choose species that will thrive in the local environment and in the space available. A tree with a large root system may not be suitable for a small space, or a tree that requires full sun may not be suitable for a shady spot.


  • Flowering trees
  • Evergreen trees
  • Fruit trees

Pros Cons

  • Pros: Trees are a great way to add visual interest and biodiversity to a landscape, and can also provide shade and attract pollinators and wildlife.
  • Cons: Planting a large tree on a budget can be costly, and a tree with a large root system may not be suitable for small spaces.

Best Practices

When planting trees on a budget, one of the best ways to save money is to buy small trees or plants from a nursery that specializes in native species. These trees will be more adapted to the local environment and are often less expensive than larger plants. Additionally, planting young trees requires less strenuous labor, and can be done with basic tools and a little bit of time.

Case Study: Joe's Front Yard

Joe wanted to add some trees to his front yard to provide shade, but he was on a tight budget. He visited several local nurseries and found several small native trees that were very affordable. Joe was also able to get help from a local garden expert who showed him how to properly plant and care for the trees. Several weeks later, Joe's front yard was transformed with the addition of several trees.

Edible Landscaping: Growing Fruits and Vegetables

Growing fruits and vegetables in the landscape is a great way to enjoy the rewards of gardening while also providing homegrown produce. Planting edible plants in the landscape can be enjoyable and rewarding, and is also a great way to save money.


  • Easy to grow vegetables
  • Nutrient-rich soil
  • Vertical gardening

Pros Cons

  • Pros: Growing edible plants in the landscape is an enjoyable and rewarding activity. It also provides homegrown produce that can be eaten or preserved for later use, and can help save money on grocery bills.
  • Cons: Many vegetables require more maintenance than ornamental plants, and can be more expensive to grow on a large scale. Additionally, some vegetables may not be suitable for growing in certain climates.

Best Practices

The best way to save money on edible landscaping is by starting the plants from seed. Many vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and beans, are easy to start from seed and require less intense maintenance than starting plants from seedlings. Additionally, simple vertical gardening techniques, such as building trellises or raised bed gardens, can also help reduce costs.

Case Study: Mary's Herb Garden

Mary wanted to create an edible landscape in her small side yard but was on a tight budget. She decided to start her own herb garden by sowing seeds for basil, rosemary, chives, and other herbs that she could keep in a small raised bed garden. She was able to assemble the raised bed frame for under $100, and quickly had a small, but productive herb garden.

Container Gardening for Small Spaces

Container gardening is a great way to bring color and life to small balconies and patios. One of the benefits of container gardening is that it can be done with minimal effort and expense.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Low cost
  • Space-saving

Pros Cons

  • Pros: Container gardening is an easy and low-cost way to add color and life to any outdoor area. It is also a great way to save space, as plants can be moved around as needed.
  • Cons: Container gardening requires frequent watering and may attract pests. In some cases, it may be difficult to find suitable containers for the plants.

Best Practices

The best way to save money on container gardening is to look for inexpensive containers, such as old buckets or ceramic dishes, and use soil from your own yard. You can also use organic fertilizers to feed the plants and avoid buying pre-made soil mixtures. Starting plants from seeds can also help save money, as long as the plants are suitable for the climate.

Case Study: Andy's Balcony Garden

Andy wanted to spruce up his small balcony with some plants, but he was on a tight budget. After some research, he was able to find some old buckets, ceramic pots, and other containers for cheap at a local thrift store. He also got some soil and organic fertilizer from his neighbor's yard, and was able to start a variety of plants from seeds. After a few weeks, Andy had a thriving and colorful balcony garden.

Final Notes

Landscaping can be expensive and time consuming, but there are ways to save money and still have a beautiful outdoor space. By selecting the right plants for the space and environment, using natural resources, and starting plants from seed, you can create an attractive and functional landscape on a budget.