Gardening is a great hobby for some people and they love nothing more than getting out there on a warm afternoon and tending to their plants. But for others, it can be a chore. Everybody wants to have a nice outdoor space that they can enjoy but not everybody likes maintaining the garden. The problem is, if you leave it even for a month or two, things can quickly get out of control and before you know it, you’re dealing with an overgrown mess that you can’t really use. But gardening doesn’t have to be as difficult or time consuming as you think it does, as long as you set up your garden in the right way. If you spend a bit of time creating a garden that is easy to maintain, you will be able to keep it looking great and get lots of use out of it, without having to spend hours every weekend tending to it. These are the best ways to create a low maintenance garden.
Get Rid Of The Lawn
The lawn i the most time consuming aspect of gardening for a lot of people because you have to put a lot of work in if you want to keep it looking great. The grass needs cutting regularly if you don’t want your garden to start looking like a jungle and it will develop brown patches that look awful if you don’t deal with them. If the dead spots get too bad, you might have to kill the entire lawn and start all over again. If you’re trying to create a low maintenance garden, it’s a good idea to get rid of the lawn completely or at least reduce the size so it’s easier to maintain.
You have a few good options when it comes to replacing the lawn. If you still like the idea of having grass out there but you don’t like the idea of looking after it, you should look into an artificial lawn. A lot of people skip this option because they assume that it will look cheap and fake, but there is some great artificial grass out there that looks pretty much the same as the real thing. As long as you lay it correctly, you don’t need to do anything with it at all and it will look great all year around.
The other option is to replace the lawn with a patio instead. It’s a great way to remove the lawn and while it will need cleaning every now and again, it’s nowhere near as time consuming as looking after grass. There are plenty of different patio designs to choose from so you will be able to find something that fits with the aesthetic in the rest of the garden. In a larger garden, you should consider combining a patio and an artificial lawn to create two distinct areas of the garden. Breaking up the space makes it appear bigger and you have different zones to use for different things, so you get more use out of the garden.
When you’re putting a patio area in, you need to consider the sunlight in the garden. You’ll be using as a social space outdoors, so you want to get as much sunlight as possible. Take note of which areas get the most sunlight for the longest, and put your patio there if possible. You don’t want to put in an area that only gets a few hours of sunlight during the day.
If you don’t want to put a patio in, you could just lay some gravel down instead. If you create some wide gravel paths through the middle of the lawn, you can turn the edges that remain into small planting beds for flowers.
Choose The Right Plants
Choosing the right plants for your garden is key if you don’t want to spend hours keeping it in good shape. Some plants are very difficult to care for and they take up a lot of your time, but other plants are a lot more robust and they do fine if they’re left to their own devices most of the time. It’s those plants that you want in your garden.
Coneflowers are a very popular choice amongst lazy gardeners because they add a burst of color to the garden and they’re so easy to care for. You can get yellow, pink, orange, and white varieties so you can keep the garden looking interesting. They do well in direct sunlight or in partial shade so you don’t need to worry too much about where you put them. They also survive well without too much water so you can leave them for a while without having to worry. If you live somewhere where it rains fairly often, that should be enough to keep them going.
Daylilies are another good one because they can survive pretty much anything. They will do fine regardless of over and under watering and they don’t mind how much light they get. They can survive for years without any intervention from you at all.
Shrubs and ornamental grasses are ideal for low maintenance gardens as well because they quickly fill a lot of space and you don’t really have to do anything with them. You only need to trim them back once a year and they will still look great.
As well as choosing the right low maintenance plants, it’s best to limit the number of different varieties that you have in the garden. If you have lots of different plants that need watering or trimming at different times, you’ll be out in the garden regularly. But if you only have a few varieties that all have very similar care needs, you will only need to work on the garden every so often.
Deal With Weeds
Getting on your hands and knees and crawling around the garden, pulling out weeds, has to be the worst job. That’s why it’s vital that you find ways to get weeds under control. In and around any patio and gravel areas, you can just use a good strength weedkiller and apply liberally to make sure that nothing can grow there. But you have to be more careful around plants because the weedkiller won’t differentiate and you’ll kill everything off.
In the areas of the garden that have gravel on, you need to lay down a membrane underneath to stop them from coming through. You can also put down organic mulch over the top of your soil to stop weeds from growing as well. It starves them of light and helps to keep the soil moist and warm, so your plants will flourish but the weeds will not be able to get through.
When it comes to planting things, you should try not to leave any gaps between things. If you leave big gaps, the weeds have plenty of space to get through and they’ll get a lot of light. But if they are crowded out by other plants, they will be starved of light and they won’t be able to grow properly.
Get An Automated Watering System
You’ve already taken steps to reduce the amount of watering and maintenance that you need to do on your plants but you can make your life a lot easier if you get an automated watering system in the garden as well. Once set up, these watering systems will do everything automatically and you don’t have to worry about watering your plants at all. The hose pipe sprinkler systems work with a timer and you just set when you want the plants to be watered and how long for. If you think that they need an extra watering, you can just hit a button and give them an extra burst. If you are using planters in your garden, you can get self watering ones that have a reservoir of water in the bottom to keep the plants moist at all times. When the water is running low, the gauge will tell you and you simply fill it up again.
If you want to spend a bit more money, you can even get smart watering systems that connect to the internet. They have all of the same functions as normal automated watering systems but some can be controlled with your phone, which is ideal if you’re away. They also monitor the weather so if it is going to be particularly rainy, they will cut back on watering, and if it is going to be extra hot, they will increase the watering. That means your plants get the perfect amount of water and they will always flourish, and you don’t have to lift a finger.
Don’t Paint Wooden Fixtures
Most people will paint or stain wooden fixtures like decking, fences, and sheds, but that isn’t always the best thing to do. It might look great, but that paint is going to wear off and you’ll have to keep applying it over and over again. It’s best just to leave the natural wood and you won’t have to do anything with it.
If you get the design right when you first set up your garden, you won’t have to spend much time at all maintaining it and you can spend more time enjoying it.