If you own a home with a yard but aren’t exactly a professional gardener, you might be interested in learning some simple yard hacks to make your yard look attractive without spending too much money.

Maintaining the outside of your property year-round means costs stay low, and you won’t have to put in too much effort when spring rolls around.

If you’re not sure whether it’s your or landlord’s responsibility to take care of the yard, check your lease. Landlords typically cover cleaning gutters and tree trimming. Raking leaves, mowing, and watering the lawn is usually the tenant’s job. Also, make sure you understand what you can and can’t do to the property.

1. Clean up

One of the cheapest yard hacks is keeping the property clean. Be sure to clean up children’s toys and dog feces. Look for tree branches and twigs that tend to fall on yards during windy days. Old leaves blow into the rocks around your house, so you’ll need to clean those, too. Even the rocks themselves fall out of place sometimes. Scan your yard for anything that looks out of place and take some time cleaning up. It’s a simple hack to make your yard look more attractive.

2. Get rid of weeds

Weeds make any yard look unappealing. Spend an afternoon getting rid of weeds, and you’ll quickly see an improvement to the property.

It’s tough pulling weeds, so here are a few hacks to try:

  • Pour boiling water on them. The next time you cook pasta, use that water to pour over weeds. Make sure you have shoes on and oven mitts to protect yourself. This might require a few applications, but it does the trick.
  • Use newspaper and mulch to suffocate weeds. Just like with regular plants, weeds need sunlight to survive. Put strips of newspaper over the weeds, then pour some mulch on top of the newspaper to prevent any sunlight from getting in.
  • Sprinkle salt or baking soda on weeds. Be careful doing this around areas where you want other plants to grow. Salt makes the area inhabitable for plants, so use this method between cracks in your sidewalk and not next to your garden.

3. Take care of the grass

Having lush, green grass is a great way to make a property look attractive. And if you maintain it properly, you won’t have to spend much money keeping the lawn green. No matter what time of year it is, you can always take care of your lawn.

As you put the lawnmower away in the fall and bring in patio furniture, spread fertilizer on the lawn. This replenishes the grass with nutrients lost during the hot summer months. And the fertilizer stays in the roots all winter long. Then, in the late spring, reapply fertilizer to help the lawn grow for summer.

Consider reseeding the grass in the spring on the brown spots. If you have dogs that pee on the lawn, this causes brown spots that are difficult to treat. Instead of allowing them to pee on the yard every time, take them on frequent walks to avoid your grass from becoming too brown. And make sure to water frequently, including dry winter months.

4. Try container gardening

Container gardening is one of those yard hacks that can be used anywhere. Using containers and pots for plants makes them mobile, so you can take them when you move out. And you can bring them inside during bad weather. Find plants that have different bloom times so you can have pretty flowers all year long. You can find cheap pots at your local gardening shop to start building your garden. Ask people you know whether you can take some seeds from their garden instead of buying new ones. And if you enjoy planting vegetables, you can create a container garden for those as well.

5. Add mulch

Using mulch helps your yard stay healthy and is pleasing to the eye. Add mulch around trees, shrubs, and a garden if you have one. Mulch insulates the soil underneath from extreme temperatures, retains moisture (which cuts down the need for water), and prevents weeds from growing.

You can find inexpensive mulch at your nearest garden nursery or hardware store.

6. Put in solar lights

Solar lights are a cheap solution to make the yard look nice at night. Lighting also helps when you’re struggling to find the keyhole when it’s dark. Hardware stores sell portable solar lights (6-packs for around $15), which you can place along your yard in places you see fit. Because they are portable, you can remove them at any time. You can also showcase certain areas of your yard with lights, such as if there is a fountain or garden. And since solar lights run off solar power, there’s no need to find a spot to plug them in or worry about an electric bill.

The bottom line

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an attractive yard. With these simple yard hacks, you can work with what you already have … and you can start today. Remember to check your lease for any yard rules.