We would all like to have a beautiful garden, but our busy lives and the many demands on our time — kids, work, and chores — don't leave enough free time to devote to a beautiful garden.
That's why for most of us, a low-maintenance garden is the best option. We can enjoy our gardens without spending all those precious hours tending to them. And just because a garden is low-maintenance doesn't mean it has to be boring; it just means that it will take a bit of planning to get your gorgeous garden. Here are eight suggestions:
1. Plan your layout
The first rule for a low-maintenance garden is to make sure each plant has the right home. So you'll want to carefully plan the layout of your garden now and prevent extra work later. Become familiar with your garden’s soil and light conditions, and choose plants that will thrive in those areas.
2. Replace parts of the lawn
Grassy walkways require weekly mowing. Replace them with gravel paths that drain freely and don't require maintenance. You can also replace the lawn around your trees with woodland plants, or consider turning a patch of your lawn into a meadow by using native plants.
3. Consider raised beds
By using raised beds, you can easily distinguish among vegetable and herb growing areas. It also makes it quicker and easier to tend to those areas.
4. Make sure your plants off to a good start
Be sure to follow proper planting procedures since one of the biggest killers of plants is planting them too deeply. By adding extra nutrients to the soil, you will have healthy plants and a lot less work and aggravation.
5. Simplify watering
Watering is part of gardening, but smart watering is the hallmark of a low-maintenance garden. Depending on the size of your garden, consider installing an irrigation system. If you don’t want to get that sophisticated, set up a sprinkler on a timer that turns it on every evening at the same time.
6. It's important to mulch
Mulch can save you hours of time in weeding and watering. Adding a 2-inch layer of mulch around your plants blocks enough sunlight to prevent many weed seeds from sprouting. It also helps retain moisture in the soil and prevents erosion. You can also run soaker hoses under the layer of mulch to save time in watering.
7. Barriers also prevent weeds
Whether you use a raised bed or plant right into the ground, weed barrier paper will help to control weeds and lessen your workload. The paper is typically sold in large black rolls at garden centers. Before planting, you roll the paper over the soil, cut holes for your plants, and add a layer of mulch.
8. Grasses and groundcovers can fill in open spaces
With fewer empty spaces, weeds have a slimmer chance of taking root. Many ornamental grasses will clump without spreading. Groundcover not only fills in open spaces, but it's also a great alternative to grass.