We all dream of having a gorgeous outdoor living space where we can relax, entertain, and pass the warm summer days. But often we spend more time maintaining an outdoor space than actually enjoying it. Here are a few tips to help you create a low-maintenance paradise in your backyard.
Plan Ahead and Research
Putting a bit of effort into planning and researching will help you avoid future time-consuming maintenance. Find out what each plant and structure will require for maintenance and how they will interact with your local environment. Are there common problems like flooding or wildlife that will affect your yard? Which plants will survive best with the least amount of upkeep in your area? Are there particular trouble areas in your yard that need to be addressed?
Be honest with yourself! If you love roses but know that growing roses in your climate is going to require more attention that you have to give, pick a different plant. If you know you’re not going to spend hours weeding every week, don’t put in a huge garden. Good intentions will often lead to messy, disappointing results. Keep a realistic expectation as to the amount of time and effort you will honestly be willing to invest each week into maintaining your outdoor living space.
Help keep your yard organized by creating zones. Make a list of the types of activities you will be using the yard for and create a zone for each activity. For example, having a play zone for kids will help keep all the toys in one general area, making the clean-up easier. Creating specific zones for storing toys, garden equipment and the like will help keep your yard clean and keep you from wasting time searching for tools when maintenance is required.
Downsize the Lawn
If you have children who spend a lot of time playing outdoors, you may want a large lawn area. If your yard will be used more for entertaining and visiting, downsizing your lawn can help reduce the need for mowing. Replacing lawn space with rock gardens, pathways, mulch, patio space, and low-maintenance gardens can create a fantastic space that requires little to no mowing at all.
Rock gardens are a common choice for low-maintenance landscaping. A properly designed rock garden will not need regular weeding or watering and its perennials and shrubs require very little upkeep.
Fuss-Free Shrubs, Trees and Perennials
When choosing plants look for fuss-free options. For instance, fir trees and shrubs that do not lose their leaves in fall will require less raking. Weather-hardy perennials are always a good choice, but avoid plants that require dead-heading, constant pruning, or other seasonal maintenance.
Automatic Irrigation Systems
If you are planning a garden that will require regular watering or you live in an area where drought is a common problem, it’s worth considering an automatic irrigation system. Installing a system can save you hours of time spent watering and can also help save money and time by keeping your lawn and garden perfectly moist so that you don’t end up having to repair areas that dry out.
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