When the winter chill starts leaving the air and you can see a bit of green popping out here and there, if you’re like us, you can’t wait start picking out plants and designing this year’s outdoor plan. It’s a wonderful sort of spring madness that we succumb to every April. By the time the end of July rolls around, you’re sick to death of the daily watering, weeding, and maintenance that your garden requires. You’ll whisper a silent promise to yourself that next year you’re going to do less in the spring so you can take it easy during the summer. Most years, you never keep that promise, but we’ve got a few tips that can help you create a space that’s lush, attractive, and requires minimal attention during the year. Here’s some more ways to do less!
Cutting the lawn in more ways than one (add pathways, plants around trees, pavers and flagstones)
When it comes to regular maintenance, lawns are always at the top of the list, so if you want to do less maintenance, then try having less grass to cut. Hardscaping elements like paving stones, gravel walkways, and rock walls can add visual flavor to your lawn while reducing the overall square footage of grass. We also like creating flower beds surrounding the trunks of trees. Shade plants can thrive beneath trees while daily watering delivers food to both the plants and the trees. Now you’ve got lush, thriving flower beds replacing large sections of your lawn.
Plant selection (pereniials, drought-tolerance)
When you’re picking your plants, try to choose perennials over annuals. When they start blooming on their own next year, you’ve already saved yourself a chunk of time. While you’re planting, try to group plants together based on their moisture needs to streamline your regular watering process. When possible, try to select drought-tolerant plants. They require less frequent watering, giving you the freedom to go on vacation or just take the day off from walking around the yard with a garden hose.
Stones, pavers, and concrete elements don’t need daily attention, but when they need maintenance, you can be sure that it’s going to be a bit of work. Before you put down hardscaping, do your research to find out which ones require the least amount of cleaning or maintenance.
If you haven’t seen what the market has to offer in terms of DIY irrigation systems, then you owe it to yourself to get online and take a look. In the past your only option was to dig holes in your yard to install an expensive sprinkler system that was controlled by a user-unfriendly box in the garage. Today you can buy kits that let you build and install custom irrigation systems of any size. You can water a few pots on your porch or you can soak a whole garden through an app on your phone. With a little extra work in the spring, you can liberate yourself from daily watering for the rest of the year.
Removing nuisance plants
Get rid of anything that is adding work without benefitting the space. Bushes that crowd walkways, plants that shed leaves into your pool, or trees with too many dead limbs need to go. Not only will this cut down on the amount of regular maintenance, you’ll enjoy your space more when every element positively contributes to the overall appearance.
Learn to love mulch and it will love you back. You can buy it at the garden center or you can make it yourself with compost and grass clippings, but we can’t recommend it enough. When you lay it down thick it will inhibit the growth of weeds and help conserve moisture. A thick layer of mulch in the winter also helps to protect those perennials until the weather warms up again. More mulch = less work. It’s just that simple.
When you want to do less work outdoors, the first task on your to-do list should be to call Red Valley Landscaping. We’ve got years of experience that makes it easy to create a space that gives you more time for enjoyment while requiring less time for the drag of daily maintenance. Give us a call and let's find a way for you to enjoy more and work less.