Everybody loves the results of a good landscaping design, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has the time, desire or green thumb to maintain lush garden landscaping. Fortunately, you should know that maintaining an attractive yard space can be easier than you might expect. Here are five tips that can help you create a low-maintenance outdoor space without sacrificing style:
- Put in the Prep Time at the Start
Just as a quality foundation can prevent construction problems for decades (and sometimes years) to come, properly preparing your soil can head off many gardening headaches before they materialize. That means testing the pH of your soil, ensuring that your grading is appropriate, and adding mulch and fertilizer as needed.
- Invest in Quality Hardscaping
Top-quality hardscaping (that’s the aspect of landscaping that using non-plant materials, encompassing walls, decks, pathways, etc.) can both scale back the portion of your yard that needs maintenance and make maintenance easier for planted areas. Installing an attractive patio area with high-end features such as a fireplace or an outdoor kitchen can provide focal points that can’t wilt and need no pruning, and proper retaining walls and bed structures will keep plants in better health with less attention from you.
- Buy Good Plants From a Local Nursery
Not all plants are equal in quality, and not all plants will do equally well in your local climate. Work with local landscapers to choose healthy plants that are native to your region (or one with a very similar climate), and you’ll find that your plants demand far less nurturing over the years than if you picked them up at your local big-box store’s garden center.
- Don’t Get Too Groovy With Shapes
Some graceful curves can make a landscaping design appear less cookie-cutter and generic. But both planting and ongoing maintenance will be easier if you stick primarily to straight lines for flowerbeds and walkways. You might assume that a less manicured look will be easier to keep tidy, but sometimes a “natural” look requires more artful care than some simple pruning would (think of how much work goes into perfecting a just-messy-enough hairdo, if you need a comparison).
- Get the Right Lawn Care Equipment
Having the right tools can make all the difference. Invest in the lawn care equipment that you need to carry out the biggest tasks in your garden, consulting with the landscaper if necessary to come up with a list. If the lawn care equipment you need would be unusually pricey, you might consider hiring a lawn care company instead. That way you’ll save on equipment costs and labor demands. You can always retain smaller tasks such as weeding and deadheading for yourself, if you’re looking to keep costs low.
Do you have any other tips on keeping maintenance manageable? Share your thoughts in the comments.