6 Tips for Designing a Low Maintenance Landscape

6 Tips for Designing a Low Maintenance Landscape

Kewannee Skippers 4 7

Creating a low-maintenance landscape can be beneficial when it comes to spending more time enjoying your property as opposed to working on it. Even properties that are professionally maintained can benefit financially from having landscaping that is easily kept looking its best.

We’ve rounded up 6 landscaping ideas that can help you to create a low-maintenance landscape that you can love.

Use Rock in Place of Mulch

While there’s no question that mulch is the best option for plants (it adds nutrients to the soil and provides insulation), there are times when it may not be the most desirable choice as far as maintenance goes. Utilizing stone around a pool area, for instance, can prevent mulch from being tracked or blown into the water. 

Landscape rock is also low maintenance in that you’ll likely never need to replace it (other than maybe adding to the top layer if the color has faded from the sun). However, because rocks do not help plants the way that mulch can, you must be selective about any plant material you choose to install in a rock bed. Rocks can raise soil temperatures and make it difficult for a lot of plants to survive. Certain ornamental grasses may be your best bet.

But Remember, Mulch has Benefits, Too

While rock can be argued as lower maintenance than mulch—particularly in certain areas of the landscape—mulch can also benefit your property from a maintenance perspective. Plants are going to perform better when mulched so it’s always better to mulch a plant bed as opposed to only using soil. 

Plant roots retain more moisture and are better insulated against the intense effects of the wind and sun when mulch is applied. Mulch can also play a valuable role in weed suppression and will keep weeding work at bay.

Choose Native Plant Material

Another way to create a low-maintenance landscape is to choose native plant material that is naturally adapted to the soil, climate, and rainfall of our region. Native plants will not need a ton of TLC to grow and perform their best.

Because native plants have already adapted to local rainfall amounts—and don’t require much additional watering to grow—you’ll also conserve water in the process. You’ll limit the need for pesticides, as well. Native plants are accustomed to local pests and can tolerate them without a lot of extra help from chemicals.

Invest in High-Quality Soil

Setting your plant beds up for success with high-quality soil can also decrease your maintenance needs by ensuring your plants have what they need to thrive. Quality soil is essential for healthy and abundant growth and is worth investing in. After all, when your plants are performing optimally, you avoid the work in continually trying to nurse their health and simply benefit from watching them grow.

Choose Grass Alternatives

While most people really love having a lawn, turf areas are also some of the highest maintenance areas of a property. Therefore, reducing the amount of turf on your property will naturally reduce your maintenance needs.

This can be achieved by adding more plant beds, extending mulch rings around trees, or even using ground cover in place of grass on certain areas of the property. 

Areas where it is tough to grow grass such as shaded spots or hills which may experience erosion could benefit most from choosing a grass alternative. In addition, spots that are difficult to mow are also places to consider grass alternatives. Work with a professional to come up with some ideas that could work best for your specific property and its unique challenges.

Partner with a Pro

In general, working with a professional to come up with ideas that are tailored to your yard will help in creating a low-maintenance landscape. A lot of it will depend upon what you’re looking to achieve—and ensuring that you’re making wise product selections for your property.

After all, one of the quickest ways to create a high-maintenance landscape is to make poor selections in terms of plant material, grass seed, or lawn care products. Choosing products or materials that don’t fit your needs—or that are subpar quality—could have you stuck in an endless cycle of extra maintenance work without making a lot of progress. Had you simply made better choices from the onset, you’d be in better shape.

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