Low Maintenance Landscaping: 10 Tips for Your Yard and Garden Area
One of the best assets to the house I live in now is actually the property. The home sits on almost an acre of land in city limits, and most of the land is a beautiful backyard. The yard work used to be incredible until my wife and I got smart. We started designing the landscape to make the most of our yard with the least amount of maintenance possible. I’ll share with you 10 tips for creating a low maintenance yard and garden area, all of which we have used ourselves and believe in.
When you initially begin creating a low maintenance landscape, it might take a bit more effort at first, but you’ll reap the benefits immediately. You instantly gain extra time when you can spend one hour versus four hours mowing and weed-eating. Your yard becomes safer because the overgrown, weed-filled areas are gone, along with the chance of poison ivy, stinging nettles, and other invasive plants.
10 Low Maintenance Landscaping Tips
- Keep a pump or spray bottle full of vinegar handy. Vinegar is one of the most effective weed killer we have ever used. It is safe for the environment, children, and pets. If you notice weeds popping up on your patio or sidewalk, grab your vinegar bottle and spray them. The weeds will be dead the next morning. You can eliminate time spent pulling and picking up weeds by using this secret weapon, especially if you catch the weeds early on and spray them.
- Clean the fence line and keep up with it. This is a big problem at my house because one side of the chain link fence always gets covered in vines. If you have an area that has the same problem, do one major cleaning of that fence line and then control the weeds with vinegar. You won’t have to worry about the problem again all summer.
- Plant flowers that are easy to live with. When you create flower beds, consider how much time you have to spend weeding, dead-heading, and splitting flowers. Then research the type of flowers you are considering before you plant them to make sure they are an easy, self-maintaining plant.
- Designate spaces in your yard. If you have a certain spot for the children to play, it will be easier to keep their toys cleaned up because the kids will know where to put them at the end of the day. Keep an organized area for your lawn tools so they get put away at the end of your yard work session. Having certain areas for items allows you to put things away right away and not spend time hunting around for tools later.
- Create flower bed borders that you don’t have to weed eat. If you dig a small trench along the edge of your flower bed about 4 inches down and 6 or 8 inches wide, then fill in with mulch, you will have a seamless edge between your flower bed and yard that you can mow right up to without having to ever weed-eat. This has been the biggest time-saver in my backyard of all.
- Buy quality tools. If you purchase tools, whether they are power tools or hand tools, research the brand a bit and make sure they are going to last. You don’t want to start trimming a bush or plants and have a pair of clippers that locks up every time you take a snip. Investing in a quality tool will save you time and hassle down the road.
- Eliminate slopes and hills that are hard to mow. If you have areas in your yard that are difficult to mow, replace the grass with a self-maintaining ground cover. This will eliminate the struggle with the mower, add interest to your yard, and save you time. For a list of hardy ground covers, check out the article I wrote on ground cover choices.
- Plan ahead. Spend some time deciding how you envision your yard when all your projects are done, and then begin digging, moving rocks, planting, etc. If you have a plan ahead of time, you usually don’t have to re-do things you’ve already done because you don’t like how it turned out the first time.
- Keep eco-friendly pest solutions handy. For instance, I control garden critters and bugs with ivory soap, either in liquid or bar form, depending on the need. So, I keep a container of grated ivory soap handy and a spray bottle of ivory soap and water handy. That way I can grab the mixture I need, use it quickly and be done with my pest control in a matter of minutes.
- Schedule weekly maintenance times for your yard. Probably the easiest way to keep a low-maintenance yard is to keep up with the yard work. This sounds silly, but it’s true. Instead of letting weeks pass by before you mow or check for weeds, take time each week to do a little yard work and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle later on.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a low maintenance landscape. You’ll spend more time enjoying your yard and less time doing yard-work.