Low-Maintenance Landscaping Tips

Do you crave lush outdoor spaces but don't have a lot of time to put into weeding, mowing, watering, trimming and feeding? The following tips can help you achieve a low-maintenance landscape that brings you all of the rewards of gardening with much less work.

 

Tricks & Tips

Create an Easy-Care Lawn
To minimize yard chores, consider replacing high-maintenance grass with a slow-growing, drought-resistant turf that's specifically recommended for your local climate. To ensure the lawn has ample nutrients, as well as good aeration and water retention, seed or install new sod over 3 inches of compost mixed with at least 6 inches of good quality loam.
 
Build Healthy Soil
You can eliminate the frequent chore of applying chemical plant food and create a healthier garden by feeding the soil instead of the plants. When you begin, have your soil tested to find out whether it's alkaline or acidic, and if you need to add any supplemental minerals. Then, apply a thick layer of compost in the gardens early in the spring to add biotic life and available nutrients and boost soil tilth.
 
Go Native With Your Plant Selections
Your choice of plants has a big impact on the amount of work it takes to keep your gardens healthy and attractive. For low-maintenance gardening, focus on plants that are adapted to your particular region or those from similar zones. Replace finicky plants that require a lot of care with evergreen ground covers, woodland plants, native perennials, and spring and summer bulbs in your beds and around trees.
 
Use Mulch to Your Advantage
Adding the right amount of mulch to your gardens is the easiest way to control the weed growth and moisture loss that increases your maintenance workload during the growing season. In the spring, cover your gardens with a 4- to 6-inch thick layer of mulch, such as well-rotted manure, bark or shredded leaves.
 
Make Watering Hassle-Free
Watering the gardens is typically a labor-intensive chore. If you want to reduce water waste and make it hassle-free, put soaker hoses in place in each garden area, or install a timer-activated drip irrigation system.