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8 tips you should follow if you want a low maintenance garden

Maintaining a yard and/or garden takes a lot of work. For people that are juggling families, jobs, and other activities, they don't want to spend hours upon hours watering, weeding, fertilizing and solving pest problems outside. They want to do what they have to do to keep their yard and garden looking nice and then spend their free time enjoying it.
These 8 great tips will help make your garden low maintenance, giving you more to sit and relax!
1. Get rid of lawn completely
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One of the simplest ways to make your garden low maintenance is to get rid of any grass in your yard and replace it with something that doesn't need to be mowed, watered, or fertilized. You can add a dry creek bed with decorative rocks, or xeriscape your yard completely turning it into a gorgeous space filled with drought-tolerant plants and beautiful stones. For more information on xeriscaping check out Landscaping Network.
2. Incorporate clover into lawn
More and more people are moving away from traditional lawns with 100% grass and adding clover to their turf. Clover is drought tolerant, almost completely immune to diseases, and deters most of the common insects that are problematic to the turf. It also fixes nitrogen in the soil, making its own fertilizer and outcompetes other weeds reducing the need for herbicides. Better yet? It doesn't need to be mowed to keep it looking neat and tidy. Eartheasy has some great info on how to establish a clover lawn if you're interested.
3. Mulch around plants
Adding a thick layer of mulch around garden plants will decrease how often you need to water and help keep weeds from sprouting, negating the need for weeding the garden regularly. You can use commercially purchased mulch, shredded leaves, pine needles, or straw as mulch.
4. Choose easy-care plants
When choosing the varieties of plants to put in your garden, look for ones that require less maintenance to keep them looking nice. Choose plants that don't won't outgrow their space quickly and need to be pruned back. Also look for plants that bloom all summer or stay green the entire growing season. Hydrangeas, peonies, and dianthus are great easy-care plants to get started with.
5. Grow more perennials
Incorporate as many perennials as possible into the garden layout, trying to get away from planting flats and flats of annual flowers every spring. If you choose to plant bulbs to have flowering plants, look for varieties that can go a couple of years before they need to be divided. Shrubs and ornamental grasses also make a great addition to a garden space, coming back year after year and adding visual interest.
6. Install automatic irrigation systems
One of the most time-consuming aspects of maintaining a lawn and garden is keeping it watered. To cut down on time spent dragging a hose or sprinklers around, have an irrigation system installed that can be controlled by a timer. This way you can easily control when and how much water is applied without doing the hard work yourself.
7. Apply slow release fertilizers
All plants need sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow, even ones that have low maintenance needs. Instead of giving them fertilizer every couple of weeks during their active growing season switch to a slow release fertilizer that is applied less often and breaks down more gradually.
8. Don't go overboard
If you've got a vegetable garden, make sure to plant only what your family will eat. There's no point in tending to plants that no one even likes, or planting way more than necessary to feed your family.
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