We get it. Not everyone has the time or inclination to spend hours tending to their yards. This goes double if you work all week long or have small children. With some strategic tips and techniques, the crew at OPE Reviews aims to help you both create and maintain low-maintenance landscaping. This could be the secret to getting a beautiful outdoor space without a ton of work.
Table of Contents
- 1. Use Native Plants
- 2. Low-Maintenance Landscaping Uses Mulch Wisely
- 3. Consider Using a Drip Irrigation System
- 4. Use Raised Garden Beds
- 5. Create Low-Maintenance Landscaping by Planting in Clusters
- 6. Stick with Low-Maintenance Grass
- 7. Mulch Your Grass
- 8. Consider Hardscaping Areas
- 9. Use Long-Lasting Materials in Low-Maintenance Landscaping
- 10. Consider Hiring a Professional for Your Initial Setup
- Final Thoughts on Low-Maintenance Landscaping
1. Use Native Plants
Choose native plants when landscaping that perfectly match your climate. Native plants are generally easier to care for because they are already adapted to the local conditions. Additionally, consider choosing plants that are drought-resistant or that require minimal watering.
The idea here centers around planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that you don’t need to “baby” in order for them to take and thrive. Native plants already deal with the particular soil and environmental characteristics of your local area. That helps cut down on excessive requirements for seeing growth.
2. Low-Maintenance Landscaping Uses Mulch Wisely
We love mulch. Mulch not only helps retain moisture in the soil, but it also dresses up your landscaping. You can choose between various types of mulch as well as the color. We prefer brown, but black also gives you a great look. While some love red mulch, I’m not a huge fan—but it definitely contrasts brilliantly with green grass.
Using mulch helps reduce the amount of water you need to keep your plants and trees hydrated. It also means you don’t need to water your trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants quite as often. As far as low-maintenance landscaping tips go, this one should appeal to nearly everyone.
Proper mulching also helps suppress weeds—and less weeding means less work!
3. Consider Using a Drip Irrigation System
A drip irrigation system delivers water directly to the roots of the plants. It can more or less hide the watering mechanism from sight while watering plants and ground cover more efficiently. For dwarf jasmine or other ground cover, a drip irrigation system works wonders to help thicken the base rooting of these plants.
An adequate drip irrigation system helps you use less water overall while still keeping your plants healthy. You eliminate most evaporative losses and you get the water right where the plant needs it. Most combine these systems with digital or analog timers to fully automate watering.
4. Use Raised Garden Beds
Raised beds are a great way to grow a variety of plants, and they can be especially useful for those with limited space or mobility. They also make it easier to control the quality of the soil, which can help to reduce the amount of maintenance needed.
5. Create Low-Maintenance Landscaping by Planting in Clusters
Planting in clusters, rather than individual plants spread throughout the yard, helps create a cohesive look and feel. We also find it much easier to plan and care for clusters of plants. You can optimize water delivery, fertilizer, and more. Even plants that don’t necessarily qualify as low-maintenance landscaping benefit from grouping together.
Think of this like an art project. Do you want a yard that has the organization of a Picasso or Virtosu painting…or something from Jackson Pollock ?
6. Stick with Low-Maintenance Grass
Lawns can be time-consuming and resource-intensive to maintain. That goes double or triple if you have a half acre or more. Consider replacing large swaths of your grass with low-maintenance alternatives like groundcover plants or drought-resistant grasses.
7. Mulch Your Grass
In Florida, we almost exclusively mulch our grass. That alone produces low-maintenance landscaping with respect to basic turf management. Mulching push and/or zero-turn mowers chop up grass clippings into fine particles and return them to the lawn as a natural fertilizer. This reduces the amount of time you need to spend fertilizing your lawn. Also, while your mower recycles nutrients back into the soil, you avoid having to bag grass and/or rake small leaves.
8. Consider Hardscaping Areas
Hardscapes, like walkways and patios, can be a beautiful and practical addition to your landscaping. They require minimal maintenance and can help reduce the amount of grass or other plants you have to care for.
They also extend the use of your home. Outdoor patios, kitchens, and pathways bring new features to your yard the whole family can take advantage of. Remember, sometimes the best low-maintenance landscaping is NO landscaping!
9. Use Long-Lasting Materials in Low-Maintenance Landscaping
When choosing materials for your landscaping, consider selecting those that require minimal maintenance. For example, you might choose composite decking over wood. It costs a lot more, but it also requires less upkeep over time. After replacing a pressure-treated deck just 5 years after I had installed it, I went with a composite decking material and never looked back!
10. Consider Hiring a Professional for Your Initial Setup
Look, not everyone can tackle larger landscaping projects. If it spirals out of control you can always consider hiring a professional. If you don’t have the time or energy to maintain your landscaping yourself, a professional landscaper can help.
They know how to create low-maintenance landscaping that can meet your needs and fit your budget. You can also work with them to get things started. After that, you can take the hand-off and keep things going forward with periodic check-ins. It’s one way to divide the workload into something more manageable for you and your family.
Final Thoughts on Low-Maintenance Landscaping
By following these tips, you can create and maintain beautiful low-maintenance landscaping. With an easy-to-care-for lawn and garden, you can save time and money and enjoy your plants and trees for a very long time.