10 Secrets to a Successful Low-Maintenance Garden
A garden with bright green grass, colourful flowers, walkways, and a patio is not only beautiful, it can also be easy to maintain. That’s right – there are plenty of ways to reduce maintenance and, in turn, make gardening enjoyable. With a low-maintenance garden you can eliminate or reduce repetitive chores such as mowing, trimming, edging, and watering plants. In fact, you can make a stylish garden that only needs a few hours of maintenance each week.
Interested? Here are 10 secrets to creating a low-maintenance yet beautiful garden.
1. Reduce grass or install artificial grass
You can reduce the amount of grass you need to maintain by installing pebble paths instead of grassy walkways. Pebble paths deter weeds, let water drain freely, and don’t need weekly maintenance. You can also consider surrounding your trees with plants instead of grass. Woodland plants are great as they compete well with and don’t mind the company of tree roots.
On the other hand, you can get rid of natural grass altogether by installing artificial grass. You don’t have to water, feed, or mow it; all you have to do is keep it clean and vacuum it occasionally.
2. Create paths and seating areas with stone pavers
Paths and seating areas that have soft, simple lines and are big and wide can make them easy to care for. You can make them even easier to maintain by creating them with porcelain or stone pavers. This way, you can keep these areas of your garden weed-free and all you need to do is hose them down or brush away fallen leaves and debris when required.
You can also keep paths and seating areas clean by placing them in full sunlight, as they could get wet and slippery and need regular pressure washing if you place them in damp shady spaces and under trees.
3. Sprinkle compost on your garden beds
Feeding the soil in your garden beds with compost (mulch, compost tea) helps release the nutrients your plants need to thrive, keeping them alive and healthy for longer. Applying a layer of 5-10 cm of mulch to your garden beds twice a year will conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and balance temperature shifts. This way, your garden will only need minor watering, feeding, and weeding. As for compost tea, you can spray an aerobically brewed tea on poor soil to improve its texture and tilth quickly.
4. Choose plants that suit your climate and soil
If you live in a hot, dry climate, pick plants that love this kind of weather. If you live in a cold, wet climate, grow plants that love this weather. And if your soil is acidic, choose plants that enjoy acidic soil. If you pick native plants or plants that grow well in your area, they’ll thrive and you’ll reduce the time and money you spend on watering and pruning them. What’s more, if you choose drought-tolerant native plants, you don’t need to water them during dry summers.
In Australia, perennials and drifts of ornamental grasses are easy to maintain and many of them only need to be cut back once a year. Add plenty of groundcover between the plants to further reduce watering and weeding.
5. Grow a variety of plants together
Growing various plants together will allow you to maximise the space you have. You can combine evergreen and native border shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. What’s more, when plants are close to each other, less soil is exposed to the sun, locking in moisture and inhibiting weed growth. And growing plants that bloom at different times will make ornamental leaves visible throughout the year. This means your garden will look attractive and colourful all year long, and you don’t have to lift a finger to make it so.
6. Add lavender to your garden
Planting lavender in your garden will add a relaxing aroma and a burst of colour. But that’s not all! If you live in a climate without regular rain, you only have to water lavender 1-2 times a week. You can also leave the job of repelling bugs to your lavender plants.
7. Plant in large pots or containers
Pots and containers can help you style your garden and add plants that won’t thrive in your garden’s soil. Consider having large but few pots or containers with a combination of plants for less maintenance work. Also choose containers that’ll retain moisture or use water-retaining gels. Pick plants that enjoy good drainage (olives, lavenders, ornamental grasses) and can go for long periods without watering (succulents, drought-tolerant bedding plants).
With potted plants you only have to water the plants in the pots and you can easily move them around. They’re also an easy way to add colour to different parts of your yard. If you own a dog, planting in large pots is a great way to deter your pet from digging. Dogs dig for numerous reasons, so by eliminating the possibility you can keep your garden mess free.
8. Add edging around your garden with stone pavers
Edging around your garden can help separate your grass and garden, making it look neater and easier to maintain. It’ll be easy for you to mow or sweep without having to edge your lawn. You can consider installing the edging in curves to add appeal and character. Curved stone pavers will enhance your landscape all year long and they’re an easy way to make your garden look beautiful.
9. Plant flowers, herbs, and other greenery in large beds
Growing plants and vegetables in large beds will bring order and depth to your garden. It’ll also reduce the growth of weeds and give your plants the space to grow. Raise the garden beds or line them with boards or granite slabs so the plants don’t get crushed. This type of garden bed not only looks pretty and promotes good plant health, it’ll also halve your maintenance work, so you won’t have to prune the plants to control their size.
10. Use crushed stones or pebbles in your garden beds
Crushed stones and pebbles can help conserve water and you never have to replace them. So if you want to spend less time watering your plants and replacing the beds, consider adding them to your garden.
Creating a stylish garden that needs little work
Caring for a garden should be enjoyable, not a chore. And with these tips in hand, you can create a stylish garden that requires little maintenance. What’s more, with less work to do you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the view of your beautiful garden.
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