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Top 9 Cheap and Easy Backyard Upgrades

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With summer in full swing, I’m sure you’re looking to have friends and family over to eat, play and relax in your backyard. There are just two problems—you’re backyard’s a little dated and your budget is a little sparse. But there’s no need to stress! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite, budget-friendly backyard upgrades.

1. Use cinder blocks unconventionally. Cinder blocks are great for cheap, yet chic, backyard updates. With cinder blocks you can build sleek outdoor seating or add some urban touches to your garden. With prices as low as $1 in stores (and free on Craigslist), your options are endless with cinder blocks!

2. Plant tall grass for added privacy. Looking for some extra privacy? Tall grass is not only a cheap alternative to traditional fencing, but it’s also much more pleasant to look at! Ornamental grass (tall grass) comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors—so I’m sure you can find something that fits your style. BONUS: Plant your tall grass in a pot or trough for a mobile fence (that can also be used on decks and patios)!

3. Add color and texture to your fire pit. One of the great things about owning a propane fire pit is the ability to swap out the toppings. You can create a serene atmosphere by using lava stones, which resemble river rocks, or you can hone in on a more modern aesthetic by incorporating glass toppings. And the fun doesn’t stop there—fire pit toppings are also available in an array of colors!

4. Build a living wall. Living walls are awesome, and building your own is super cheap and super easy (you probably already own most, if not all, of the required materials). You can build living walls from old wood pallets, lattices, picture frames, rain gutters—seriously, the list is endless! Get some inspiration here.

5. Hang lights and lanterns from your trees and/or fence. Set the mood in your backyard by simply hanging lighting from your trees. Set a more festive tone by hanging globe lights from your trees and around your fence. Looking for something with a little more whimsy? Hanging lanterns from your trees are a great alternative! Just make sure you’re using battery operated lighting in your lanterns!

6. Build an auxiliary cart for easy grilling. Don’t you just love having to run back inside every time you’re grilling because you forgot something? Yeah, didn’t think so. That’s why this DIY auxiliary cart is actually pretty ingenious. All you need are a few old fruit crates (you can also get the same effect with these Ikea crates), swivel casters, some hand-held power tools and you’re one step closer to easy grilling!

7. Define your outdoor spaces. The easiest (and cheapest) way to update your backyard is by simply defining your outdoor spaces. Your backyard should house separate areas for cooking, eating, playing and relaxing. Just a few furniture moves, and you’ll have a new backyard!

8. Plant lemongrass to repel mosquitoes. If you haven’t invested in a propane mosquito trap, then you should seriously consider planting lemongrass in your backyard. Citronella (yup—just like the candle!) is actually a natural oil found within lemongrass, which is why its lemongrass is such a powerful mosquito repellant!

9. Old pallets make great walkways. Have an old pallet lying around? Then it’s time to break out your crowbar and put that pallet to use! By simply disassembling your pallet, you’ve got yourself a rustic garden walkway for your backyard. And this backyard hack won’t cost you any money and minimal work is required! Check out the tutorial here.

Do you have any cheap and easy backyard updates? If so, share with us in the comments section below!