Using low-maintenance landscaping techniques can reduce much of your yard work.
Mowing, weeding, watering, and pruning can be overwhelming, even for those who love to garden. Here are a few tips:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS
- A shrub that grows to 6 feet tall will require regular pruning if planted under a window that is three feet above the ground. There are many dwarf varieties of trees and shrubs that are ideal for small areas and may never need pruning.
- Native plants are always a good choice for the landscape because they adapt to surroundings more easily than exotic species. Grouping plants that have the same cultural needs will save time when watering and fertilizing.
- Keep the planting beds narrow for easy access to interior plants; design them with long, sweeping curves so that the mower can reach the edge, eliminating hand trimming.
MULCH, MULCH, MULCH
A thick layer of organic mulch around plants will help to control weeds, conserve soil moisture, and add nutrients to the soil. Popular organic mulches are tree bark, shredded leaves, pine needles, and plant wastes such as cocoa shells. (If you have any pets, please note that cocoa mulch contains theobromine, which is lethal for dogs and cats.) If weeds are a serious problem, lay down several layers of newspaper before mulching.