I have been posting a lot about gardening lately! I have always enjoyed gardening and am finally finding the time to actually get out there and do it (until our weather turns too hot in August). Here’s another quick post to share for the other gardening enthusiasts out there!
The thing about gardens is all the work you have to do to create and maintain them. In fact, they can be really hard going! This is unless you create an outdoor space that is not only restful and attractive but also low maintenance as well.
The first step you can take to make your garden look gorgeous but also keep it as low maintenance as possible is to install raised beds. This is because they will not only help to keep your outdoor space looking neat and tidy but also vastly reduce the effort you need to put into tending your plants. The reason being that with a raised bed, you can easily reach your plants without excessive bending, something that can really help save you back!
Of course, you will need to expend a little effort to get raised beds in. Although it is entirely possible to do this yourself, by following a tutorial like the one in the video below.
Then, once you have you raised bed ready to go, you only need to consider what type of plants you will grow. That is the fun part!
Low maintenance plants
While we are on the topic of plants, you can really save yourself a lot of work by picking ones that are as low maintenance as possible. This means hothouse orchids that need daily tending and specific temperatures are out, as are other plants that are not well suited to the climate or the soil you plan to plan them in.
Instead, your focus needs to be on perennials that look their best all year around. Something that means you won’t have to dig them up, our replant depending on the season. One such perennial that can work well in a low maintenance garden space are shrubs. In fact, because plants like these tend to spread out and offer a lot of ground cover as well as some color and texture, they really are the perfect low maintenance choice.
Of course, not everyone wants a garden solely dedicated to shrubs, and there are other options you can try. Particularly popular at the moment are Cacti, the reason being that unless you are in a location where they received too much water, they will pretty much take care of themselves.
The other great thing about cacti is that there are so many different varieties with their own shapes and looks. Some even flower as well which can introduce a welcome burst of color into an otherwise monotone, low maintenance garden.
Finally, when it comes to plants that are on the lower end of the maintenance spectrum, you may wish to consider succulents. In fact, these are right on trend at the moment and as plant go pretty easy to grow and tend. Of course, the reason for this is that succulents suck up and keep their own store of water, this being what gives their leaves the plump appearance. Something that means even if you forget to water them for a few days, they aren’t going to wilt and die immediately.
Although, it is worth noting that if you do forget all about them, succulents do have a tendency to sprout upwards as a last ditch attempt to survive. This honestly doesn’t always look great, so if you haven’t got at least a little time for tending your plants this may not be the best option.
Lawn vs. terrace
Next, when it comes to loan maintenance garden, there is always a debate over whether to have a grass lawn or a terrace instead.
Only you can answer this question for your own garden and needs, but it is worth exploring some of the options here. The first one to discuss is a grass lawn, something that can be relatively low maintenance if you get lucky. By that, I mean that you get enough sun and rain for your lawn to be green, that there are no patches of crabgrass, and you don’t have any pets or pests that like to dig up your grass in their spare time. We have a grass yard and it needs mowing every week and we also have hired a service to maintain the weeds. It is definitely an expense but in our area, most homes have grass yards. I am sure that grass yards are not very eco-friendly and anticipate this to change in the coming years.
Of course, you can swap out real grass for the artificial kind, and before you scoff at this idea do remember that there are very soft fake turfs that are available now that not only look real but feel authentic as well – all without having to water them or worry about what the weather is doing. My sister plans on installing artificial turf in her very small backyard in Brooklyn.
Alternatively, reducing the amount of lawn you have and replacing it with a terrace or a deck can really minimize the amount of maintenance you need to perform in your garden. After all, if you have a deck or patio the occasional quick sweep and even less regular power wash will keep in tip-top condition.
Of course, the types of coverage you use will need careful consideration, and it’s worth noting that the harder the landscaping material used, the easier it is to take care of. For example, a stone patio is comfortable to take care of than a wood decking. We had new flagstone front steps installed last year and really love them.
Low maintenance pest control
When creating a low maintenance garden that you want to sit in and enjoy it is also vital that you protect the space from being invaded by unwanted guests like pests. After all, pests like wasps, rats, slugs, and even raccoons can not only harm your plants but be a hazard risk for humans and pets as well.
Unfortunately, once an infestation of pests like raccoons has established itself, it can be arduous work to get rid of, even in a low maintenance garden. That is why it’s crucial to find out all you can about raccoon removal at the first sign anything is wrong. You may even want to recruit a professional pest removal expert to come and help you with your problem. It certainly will mean that the amount of work you need to do to get rid of pests like these will be vastly reduced.
Fewer weeds to pull
The nemesis of low maintenance gardens are weeds. You know those tricky little things that pop up all over the place, and ruin the ambiance you have worked so hard to create! Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to minimize weed growth in your garden, meaning you will have to expend less effort in pulling them up all the time.
One way of doing this is to use a membrane in your pots, and raised beds that prevent weed growth. This works because it acts as a physical barrier to the weeds, and also stops light penetrating, so they are denied the essentials they need to survive.
Yes, it does mean that you have to do a little extra work at the planting stage because you will need to cut the right size holes in the membrane for the flora that you do want to grow through. However, with the amount of work that it reduced in the garden, later on, it is a trade-off many gardeners are willing to make.
Invest in the right tools
Tools are another vital thing that you need to get right if you want your garden to be as low effort and low maintenance as possible. In fact, if you have the right tools, you can vastly reduce the amount of labor you will need to put in to keep you outside space looking its best.
One tool that it is always worth investing in is a power washer. The reason being that you can easily keep your patio, deck, or terrace looking clean and new without having to get down and scrub it by hand. That is not the only thing that power washers are suitable for in the garden though, as they can also be used to clean off garden furniture like chairs, tables, and sun loungers. I actually love using our power washer – it is a little addicting once you get started!
Another tool that you would be crazy not to invest in when it comes to a low maintenance garden is a long-handled weed puller. In fact, these are brilliant for getting rid of unwanted weeds in beds and in the grass, all without having to bend over or get your knee pillow out!
Finally, if what you desire for your garden above all else is for it to be as low maintenance as possible, you really need to consider automated irrigation. Yes, with the technology that is now available to us, we no longer have to experience the arduous task of watering our own plants! We are looking into this option in the fall.
Automated irrigation is excellent for busy folks because it ensures that your plants will always get the water they need, whether you are there or not. Additionally, if you connect up your irrigation system to your water meter, you can easily and simply keep track of how much water you are using. Something that can help make your garden much more eco-friendly, as well as making it easy to keep green and lush.