8 Simple Ideas to Make Maintaining Your Landscaping Easier

Homeowners are sometimes surprised by the amount of work they think they need to do to maintain their landscape during the growing season, even if they do it year after year. But keeping your landscape tidy and beautiful doesn’t have to be all backbreaking labor. Though it may take some work in the beginning, here are eight ideas to make the job of landscape maintenance easier.

1. Plant Natives

Plants that are native to your area don’t need as much pampering as exotics. Indeed, some of these plants might volunteer in your yard anyway. If they’re pretty and nontoxic, consider leaving them where they are.

2. Install Some Hardscaping

Hardscaping includes pavements, walkways, driveways, walls, steps, fountains, and objects made of stone, brick, cement, and other tough materials meant to last. Though hardscaping does need some care, it doesn’t need nearly as much as your lawn or a garden full of plants. Walls and pavements may need to be hosed down and their mortar may need touching up, but they don’t need mowing, fertilizing, regular watering, pruning, or protection from pests and diseases.

3. Install Artificial Turf

Artificial turf looks more realistic than ever and can be made to resemble many types of real turf grass. The best thing is that artificial turf, much like hardscaping, doesn’t need mowing, watering, or fertilizing.

4. Hire a Landscaping Service

The best way to begin the process of making landscape maintenance easier is to take on a landscaping service. These professionals not only know the finer points of taking care of your lawn and garden, but they’re the ones who do the initial heavy lifting when it comes to hardscaping, laying down turf, and other needful things.

5. Set Up an Automatic Watering Schedule

Given our busy lives, it’s easy to forget to water a yard and garden. An automated system takes away the burden of having to remember to water and of having to block time out of your day to do so. Automatic timers can be attached to a complicated irrigation system or simply turn on the hose bib attached to a garden hose attached to a rotating sprinkler.

6. Mulch Around Plants

Mulch keeps water in, keeps the roots of plants cool, and suppresses weeds. Organic mulch decomposes and adds nutrients to your plants, but it needs to be replenished. A couple of ways to add more permanent mulch around your plants is to lay down fabric barriers. These barriers allow water to soak into the soil and reach the roots while inhibiting weeds. More attractive types of permanent mulch include gravel mulch and even mulch made of glass beads.

7. Add Perennials and Self-Seeding Annuals

Perennials are plants that come back year after year. They are generally not as showy as annual plants which only live one season. However, perennials don’t need to be replaced as often, if ever. The good news is that there are some annuals that self-seed so lavishly that they might as well be perennials. The secret to this is to not deadhead the flowers, which would mean even more work, but just let them go to seed naturally.

8. Collect Rainwater

Place rain barrels under your gutters or under those places on your roof where the rain sluices off. This lets you water your plants during dry periods without having to turn on your spigot. Some people even build French drains that direct the rain to their trees or shrubs.