Do you want to spend more time in your garden and less time maintaining it? We don’t blame you. There’s no point in having a lush green yard if you need to spend all of your time weeding, mowing and watering instead of sitting in it or entertaining in it. The good news is that you can plan to have a low-maintenance garden that doesn’t need much of your time to look great. In fact, with proper planning, these gardens tend to be more cost-effective in the long run.
Here is how you can plan a low-maintenance garden on a budget.
1. Reduce Sod Coverage
One of the most important keys to a low-maintenance backyard is to reduce your grass coverage where you can. Grass requires a ton of maintenance, especially to look good, which can include aeration and fertilizer application as well as mowing and watering. Where possible, you should seek to remove grass and replace it with lower maintenance options, which include:
- Artificial grass: Artificial grass may be relatively expensive, however, it does not require any maintenance beyond the occasional cleaning of spills. You’ll still get the lush look of real grass without the maintenance.
- Ground cover: If you want a real plant to take the place of your grass, ground covers are an excellent option. This class of plant grows low and, if you pick a native that is well adapted to your conditions, may require no maintenance at all.
- Hardscaping: Hardscaping refers to decks, patios, walkways, and other hard elements of the landscape which may take the place of grass. Hardscaping is less maintenance work than grass and adds function.
- Rocks or sand: Consider rock gardens or sand beds to cut into grass space and add beauty.
2. Low Maintenance Garden Beds
Considering adding some garden beds? They can be low maintenance too. Here are some ways to keep your beds free from weeds and therefore much easier to maintain:
- Mulch: A few inches of mulch will prevent weed growth and also help the bed retain water.
- Fabric: Gardening fabric can help reduce weeds, but it is a lot of work to install.
- Stone beds: Consider adding stones instead of mulch for a different look.
3. Soil Investments over Fertilizer
Choose to develop strong soil at first and you won’t need to apply fertilizer every year. If you do, choose slow-release fertilizer that will last longer, so you don’t need to apply it again.
4. Low Maintenance Outdoor Plants
There are a ton of outdoor plants you can choose from for your garden, but which are low maintenance? The best characteristics for plants include:
- Perennials: Choose perennials so that you don’t have to replace the plant every year.
- No trimming: Plants that don’t need to be trimmed or dead-headed (the process of removing old blossoms) are lower maintenance.
- Natives: Native plants need less care because they are better suited for your environment.