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30 Expensive Mistakes You're Making In Your Backyard

Wallet-friendly solutions for better fun in the sun.

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Having outdoor space of any kind, be it a backyard or balcony, is a wonderful perk. If you plan on spending a significant amount of time out there, it makes sense you’d want to put in the effort to maximize your space. But, yards come with maintenance. Even furnishing an outdoor space can be a costly affair. With that in mind, you’ll likely want to avoid any mistakes (especially pricey ones) that could prevent you from enjoying your yard to the fullest.

Whether your garden is left defenseless to pests, you don’t have energy-efficient lighting, or you don’t have any weatherproof storage, there are affordable items on this list that can help you solve that problem without blowing the budget.

Read on for 30 easy swaps or additions you can make to fix your yard mistakes before they cost you.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1

Mistake: Letting Your Pricey Patio Furniture Fade In The Sun

Solution: This Weather-Proofing Spray That Helps Protect It

This outdoor weather-proofing spray shields your patio furniture, including sofas, umbrellas, awnings, and more — even leather and suede. The formula helps to repel water, preventing damage, while also shielding from the sun to help keep colors from fading. Each can provides up to 60 square feet of coverage.

2

Mistake: Using Fancy Rugs That Aren’t Actually Waterproof

Solution: This UV-Resistant Outdoor Carpet

This indoor and outdoor rug is both UV-resistant and stain-resistant, meaning it can stand up to both harsh rays and everyday wear and tear. The rug is reversible, featuring two black and white geometric prints to choose from. It’s made from durable woven plastic but still feels soft to the touch and underfoot, too.

3

Mistake: Not Protecting Your Beloved Garden From Pets And Wildlife

Solution: A Netting Kit That Keeps It Secure

Protect your garden from squirrels, birds, rabbits, and even certain insects with this garden netting kit. The durable net is made from woven fibers that feature a small amount of stretch which helps it fit over varying garden shapes. To use, simply secure it over your garden bed or other support structure with the included cable ties.

  • Available colors: 2

4

Mistake: Exposing Your Upholstered Furniture To The Elements

Solution: These Chair Covers That Shield It

If your outdoor furniture isn’t exactly weatherproof, cover it in these outdoor chair covers. Made from durable polyester, these covers add an extra layer of waterproof protection to your outdoor chairs. For even more security, each one comes with a drawstring at the bottom and buckle straps to close it up.

5

Mistake: Not Covering Your Grill Between Uses And Letting It Rust

Solution: An Ultra-Secure Grill Cover That’s Waterproof

Avoid the barrage of the elements upon your grill by selecting a grill cover like this one, that actually stays put. The cover is both UV- and water-resistant to protect your grill from all kinds of weather and comes with side Velcro-style straps to ensure a snug fit — keeping water out and the wind from blowing it away. It fits multiple styles of grill, too.

6

Mistake: Ruining Seasonal Gloves While Doing Yard Work

Solution: These Durable Gardening Gloves With A Rubber Outer Lining

These gardening gloves can help protect your hands from injury, and your nails from dirt and grime. Made from ultra-breathable bamboo, they offer a snug fit, giving you full range of motion unlike bulkier options. Plus, they’re even touch-screen compatible, so you don’t need to remove them to use your phone.

7

Mistake: Decorating With String Lights That Aren’t Meant For The Outdoors

Solution: These Durable Rope Lights That Are Waterproof

This LED rope light features 180 lumens of light safely tucked beneath waterproof casing, making it perfect for the outdoors. It comes with attached loops along with ties and magnets so you can install it multiple ways. To use it as a lantern, simply fold it up and place it in its transparent, rip-stop sack with handle.

8

Mistake: Staining Your Furniture With Water Marks From Potted Plants

Solution: A Set Of Plastic Saucers That Collect Excess Water

Avoid expensive stain removal on outdoor furnishings with these simple plant drip trays. Shaped like a saucer, they come in three different sizes and sit beneath your plants to catch extra liquid or soil that would otherwise drain straight through. They’re clear as well, so they’ll easily blend in with your existing decor.

9

Mistake: Not Watering The Dry Patches Of Grass In Your Yard

Solution: This Freestanding Sprinkler That Hooks Up To Your Hose

Get a far-reaching lawn care system for under $20 with this rotating garden sprinkler. Simply hook the unit up to a garden hose and watch as the rotating nozzles water up to 3,600 square feet of turf. And even though it boasts strong water pressure, the sturdy base will ensure it stays put during use.

10

Mistake: Unknowingly Allowing Deer And Rabbits Into Your Garden

Solution: A Protective Spray That Won’t Harm Plants Or Animals

If costly fences aren’t in the picture, try this deer and rabbit repellent to keep animals off your plants instead. The spray is rain resistant, so you don’t need to worry about bad weather washing it away. Perhaps most importantly, it works by inducing a scent aversion, and it’s completely harmless to plants and animals.

11

Mistake: Displaying Expensive Electric Bulbs In Your Yard

Solution: These Solar-Powered Garden Lamps

Cut down on high energy bills with these solar-powered garden lights. They install easily around garden pathways via a spike that you drive into the ground. Plus, they automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. They’re even weather resistant, meaning they’ll hold up whether they’re exposed to rain, frost, or sleet.

12

Mistake: Accidentally Weeding The Wrong Plants From Your Yard

Solution: These Waterproof Plant Tags That Help Signify Which Is Which

Traditional plant tags may bleed or degrade in the rain, but not these waterproof plant tags. Simply write a label, place the clear film over it, and you’ll have a neatly organized garden in no time. The posts are made from galvanized iron and the labels are corrosion-resistant, too.

  • Available colors: 2

13

Mistake: Not Cleaning The Grill Properly In Between Cookouts

Solution: A Grill Brush That Won’t Leave Scratches

Some brushes may leave scratches on your pricey grill, but this grill cleaner comes with soft yet durable bristles that won’t damage your grill, be it stainless steel or cast iron. It also comes with a slim metal edge to use as a scraper for tough grime. It’s easy to maneuver thanks to the ergonomic handle, too.

14

Mistake: Leaving Your Outdoor Gear In The Rain For Days

Solution: This Giant Deck Box That Safely Stores Your Goods

This deck box boasts an impressive 30-gallon capacity and is ideal for storing pool toys, patio furniture that shouldn’t get wet, firewood, and more. It’s made out of weather-resistant resin and won’t rust or peel. You can even use it as extra seating, as it has a weight capacity of well over 200 pounds.

  • Available colors: 2

15

Mistake: Listening To Music With A Speaker That’s Meant For The Indoors

Solution: A Bluetooth Speaker That’s Portable And Waterproof

This Bluetooth speaker is a compact way of adding major sound to your next outdoor event. The cylindrical shape delivers 360-degree sound, and while you can’t jump in the pool with it, this speaker is rainproof, waterproof, and dust-proof. For even more oomph, it can be paired with a second COMISO speaker. No need to spend money on fancy outdoor wiring or ruining non-waterproof electronics.

  • Available colors: 8

16

Mistake: Not Protecting Your Wooden Furniture From The Elements

Solution: This Teak Oil That Seals And Preserves

This teak oil comes in a golden hue and protects your wooden furniture from damage. It’s fast drying and seals and stains wood to help prevent UV and weather damage. One 16-ounce bottle can cover up to 50 square feet of wood. Plus, it’s earned an impressive 4.7 star rating after over 3,000 reviewers weighed in.

17

Mistake: Leaving Food Dishes Out In The Open During Backyard Parties

Solution: These Food Tents That Help Prevent Pests From Getting In

Keep your next BBQ or picnic meal bug-free with these mesh food tents. Made from a fine but breathable nylon mesh, they will keep pests out while providing ventilation. Simply remove it from the packaging, pull down on the center cord until the support bars lock, and place it over your food table.

  • Available colors: 3

18

Mistake: Installing An Awning Above Your Sunny Patio

Solution: A Sun Canopy That’s Shady & Affordable

If you’re seeking some shade, there’s no need to install a costly awning or constantly mess with an umbrella — just reach for this sun canopy instead. Made from durable polyethylene, the shade is easily installed via rust-proof D-rings and included ropes. It even blocks out 98 percent of UV rays, so you can have a safe and shady oasis anywhere.

  • Available colors: 13

19

Mistake: Stocking Your Outdoor Bar With Fragile Glass

Solution: A Set Of Unbreakable Wine Glasses

These unbreakable wine glasses are perfect for outdoor use because they look sophisticated, but won’t shatter. Made from durable triton, they’re BPA-free and don’t look or feel clunky like other plastic wine glasses. Users report how much they look like the real thing, and one noted that she dropped it on her hardwood floor and it didn’t crack.

20

Mistake: Letting Your Soil Dry Out & Losing Plants

Solution: This Gauge That Tests Your Soil’s Water Content

If you keep losing plants to either too much or too little hydration, this soil moisture meter can fix that. Simply press the point into the soil, avoiding rocks, and it will tell you if your soil is dry, moist, or wet, so you can adjust your watering levels accordingly. It’s basically like a meat thermometer for soil.

21

Mistake: Splurging On An Expensive Spotlight For The Yard

Solution: These Motion-Activated Solar Lights For Less Than $25

Add extra security to your backyard with these energy efficient, solar-powered lights. They have three settings — motion activated, where they only turn on if they sense movement, constant illumination from dusk until dawn, and “smart” brightness, where they turn on automatically but brighten if they sense movement. Plus, they’re waterproof.

22

Mistake: Letting Your Firewood Get Damaged In The Rain & Sun

Solution: A Log Cover That Protects Your Fuel Stack

A traditional wood rack leaves your supplies exposed to the elements, but this log rack cover protects from both UV and water damage. It keeps out moisture while still allowing for ventilation. Plus, it closes easily yet securely with the help of six Velcro closures, four buckles, and a drawstring hem.

23

Mistake: Paying For Pricey Mosquito Treatments In The Yard

Solution: A Set Of Citronella Candles That Help Ward Off Bugs

Made from natural citronella oil, these outdoor candles can help repel mosquitos when lit. They’re scented with a relaxing lemongrass aroma and even come in blue and white patterned decorative tins. The triple wicks are all made with organic cotton and won’t create excess smoke when burned.

24

Mistake: Getting Grass Stains On Your Jeans While You Garden

Solution: The Gardening Bench That Doubles As A Place To Kneel

Protect your knees and back as you work in the garden with this kneeler and stool, which can also help prevent grass stains. At just under 7 pounds, it’s lightweight but still supports up to 300 pounds. Simply flip it up or down to use it as a bench or as a knee pad. It comes with a pair of gardening gloves and even includes a pouch on the side to store other tools, too.

25

Mistake: Not Cooking The Meat Correctly During Your Backyard BBQ

Solution: This High-Tech Thermometer That Removes The Guess Work

Be sure your meals are cooked to the exact temperature you want with this instant-read meat thermometer. In just 3 seconds, the illuminated LCD screen shows a super accurate internal temperature reading. It’s even magnetized to store easily on your fridge, and you can program an alarm to go off when it reaches a particular temperature.

  • Available colors: 2

26

Mistake: Buying Expensive Lights *Just* For The Patio

Solution: This Clip-On Umbrella Lamp That Provides The Perfect Glow

Add some glow to your backyard gatherings with this LED patio umbrella light. There’s no assembly required; it simply clamps on to an existing umbrella pole. It includes a wireless remote so you can customize your lighting scape, including a dimmer and a timer to optimize the battery.

27

Mistake: Running Out Of Ice During The BBQ (Because It’s All Melting)

Solution: This Backpack Cooler That’ll Help Keep Everything Cool

Keep your beverages chilled with this portable cooler that doubles as a backpack. It stores up to 24 cans at one time, and even has an air valve that lets you adjust the level of insulation. Made from durable nylon, this backpack won’t leak and is even weatherproof. Snag it in one of two sizes and colors.

  • Available colors: 2

28

Mistake: Buying New Grilling Utensils Every Single Year

Solution: This Set That Keeps Them All Stored And Sorted

If your grilling tools are a mismatched mess, consider this grill accessory kit. The kit comes with 13 pieces in a durable carrying case, all made from stainless steel with silicone grips for easy handling. You’ll get a multifunctional spatula, a grill brush, tongs, corn holders, and more.

29

Mistake: Knocking Drinks Over While Relaxing In The Grass

Solution: Drink Holder Stakes That Can Be Installed Anywhere

Make sure you’ve always got a place to stash a drink within reach using these beverage holder stakes. Made from durable steel, each pack comes with four holders in a range of bright colors. Simply choose your location, use your foot to put pressure on the double-pronged insert at the bottom, and you’re good to go.

30

Mistake: Tearing Your Old Garden Hose From Bringing It Around The Yard

Solution: This Fabric Hose That Expands & Contracts

Free yourself from clunky garden hoses that don’t store neatly with this clever expandable hose. Its durable nylon construction allows it to expand from 17 feet to 50 feet when in use. With a sturdy inner tube made from four layers of latex, it can stand up to lots of use and won’t leak.

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