They say the eyes are the window to the soul. We like to say that the landscape is the window to the curb appeal of your home. No matter how gorgeous your home is, if your landscape is suffering, or non-existent, the only first impression that people will take from it is, “ew.”
But not everyone has hours upon hours or big dollar bills to dedicate to keeping their landscape looking professional. If you fit into this category, the trick is implementing a landscape design that doesn’t require much upkeep, but still looks nice. To help you achieve this goal, we’ve put together a list of low-maintenance landscaping tips:
Five Simple Tips for Designing a Low-maintenance Landscaping Design
- Replace your lawn with a groundcover plant.
Depending on where you live, grass can be very labor-intensive. You might have to fertilize it, irrigate it, weed it, and keep it cut to maintain a tidy lawn. Although it’s a lot less work, you probably don’t want to tear the lawn out and have an unsightly dirt lot instead.
Instead, consider planting a groundcover that is easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing. For example, in many areas, clover is a native groundcover plant. If you plant clover instead of traditional grass, it doesn’t need to be fertilized at all, keeps weeds from popping up, gives you that beautiful green lawn you love, and doesn’t need to be cut. Need we say more?
When choosing a groundcover, ask your local nursery or landscaping company for suggestions for plants that are native to your environment. Choosing a native groundcover will ensure that it will be healthy and thrive, without work on your part.
- Invest in an automatic irrigation system.
Watering your grass can be a pain in the you-know-what. If you live in an arid environment that requires lawn-watering to maintain that green, lush landscape you want, you might save yourself time, energy, and water by automating it. Yes, an automatic system requires an upfront cost and takes time to install, but if done right, it will save you tenfold in time by doing your lawn maintenance for you. It can also save you money in the long-run, as an irrigation system provides the water straight to the roots, and reduces wasted water. Plus, Mother Nature thanks you for not wasting water.
- Research a landscape that doesn’t have to be replanted every season.
If your landscape is full of annuals, you’ll find yourself pulling them up and replanting them every season. This costs a pretty penny, and easily eats away one or two weekends each season. Instead, talk to your local plant nursery about good perennial options that will thrive year after year. Just make sure to select plants that are suited to the amount of sunlight or shade that your yard has available, for best results.
If you play your cards right, you might be able to find a nice mixture of perennials that bloom in the spring and fall, so you have flowers in your landscape all year long.
If you live in a dry environment, ask about perennials that are drought-tolerant, so you won’t find yourself watering the garden every morning (and spending the money on your water bill). This is another good question to run by your local plant nursery.
- Skip plants altogether.
One clever way to avoid planting something that requires work to keep it from dying is to incorporate features that were never alive to begin with. Consider planning out a portion of your landscape with a tastefully-executed rock garden. Implementing a rock garden along with some low-maintenance, native, drought-resistant perennials will give you that well-groomed landscape that you want, but without the time and effort required to keep it looking that way.
You could also implement other landscape features that aren’t plants: Create a nice patio with bricks or a wood deck. These features provide outdoor living space, look nice, and take up lawn-space without requiring any maintenance.
- When in doubt, mulch.
Mulch keeps the weeds away, while also looking like you put some effort into your lawn.
To create the best landscape that requires the least amount of maintenance, try combining each of these tips: Plan a landscape with an outdoor living area, a rock garden, a groundcover or irrigation system, and for everywhere else, there’s mulch.