If you’re like most homeowners, you take pride in your homes curb appeal, but not everyone wants to spend their weekends doing yard work. There are many options you can choose from to make your landscaping workload easier this spring and throughout the rest of the year. By making some smart decisions, you can have the curb appeal that you want without having to spend a lot of time or money on regular care. Check out these ideas for creating a low-maintenance landscape.
Lay Down Weed Barrier
Before spring planting, you should start by preparing your garden with a weed barrier. A weed barrier is a fabric that is placed over your planting beds to reduce weed growth. These fabric barriers come in different dimensions and thicknesses. Denser pieces are more expensive but higher quality. To start, prepare your soil with any additives you would normally use. Rake and flatten the ground and lay the fabric down.
Use gardening pins or staples to hold the material in place. If you are using garden edging, you can tuck the fabric into the ground snugly to hold it in place. Once you are happy with the placement, you are ready to plant. You must first cut a the fabric where you want to plant using a knife or scissors. Make sure your cut is large enough to accommodate your plant. Now you can look forward to spending a lot less time pulling weeds.
Perennials and Annuals
If you want to cut down on the amount of yard work you need to do, plant low-maintenance, drought-tolerant flowers and shrubs. Perennials require less attention than annuals. Perennials are plants that go dormant in the winter and regenerate in the spring. Perennials are a popular choice because they come back each year. They also come in a wide variety of colors and bloom periods.
Annuals are beautiful flowering plants and shrubs that die at the end of the season. The benefit of annuals is the ability to flower for longer periods, some lasting the entire summer. You probably want to use those sparingly although they add brilliant color and fragrance to your flowerbed. if you want to maintain your yard’s look year after year with minimal work, stick with perennials.
Some varieties are drought-resistant which is good for more arid areas, and others repel bugs and wildlife that would otherwise eat your stems clean. Check with your local garden center for the best plants for your planting zone. You might consider a professional garden designer to lay out your space, making smart choices and tweaking the design to your liking. The landscaping professional doesn’t have to do the installation, but they can give you a rendering of their ideas. You can do the planting yourself and save money that way.
Install an Automatic Watering System
If you’re a homeowner or landlord who is unable to spend a lot of time keeping track of watering times and usage, try using equipment that is self-sufficient. An irrigation system with a timer is a good choice. You can set the system to start and stop at the optimal times of day. Another great feature is adding a water sensor to avoid wasting water after it rains.
Sometimes building your irrigation system can be tough, so hiring an irrigation specialist might be best. Although the system might seem costly up front, the initial investment is worth the long term benefits. Many communities in the southern states have watering restrictions, and you can incur some hefty fines by not adhering to regulations. Automatic sprinkler systems give you a break from having to manually keep track of watering days and times, making it easy to follow the rules set up by your city.
Putting mulch in your garden is another way to cut down on the time you’ll need to spend weeding, watering and fertilizing. Landscape suppliers recommend mulch because mulch inhibits weed growth, keeps the soil from drying out quickly, and increases the amount of soil in your beds via decomposition; this process feeds acid-loving plants, such as trees and shrubs. Bark mulch is the most popular, plentiful and least expensive type of mulch. You can also use chopped-rubber mulch that will not decompose but still gives you the ground cover you are seeking. Some gardeners use rocks or pea stone that are a striking contrast to the surrounding plantings.
Another low-maintenance option is the use of succulents. These plants are different in that their leaves and stems are adapted to be fleshy and retain water, making them resistant to drought and disease. These plants work extremely well in drought areas.
They also come in different sizes, colors and shapes. Many spread and make an excellent ground cover. In addition to helping you cut down on how often you need to water your yard, succulents intertwined with other plants fill in gaps and add beautiful texture to any garden.
Sometimes it’s preferable to minimize the amount of grass and other plants in an outdoor space, and it will certainly save you time and money. In desert states, homeowners often incorporate xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is common in areas where there is little to no rainfall. You won’t see lush green lawns here, only yards requiring no irrigation.
A beautiful and functional alternative is adding a small patio to the front yard. Pavers and bricks come in all shapes and sizes and make unique focal points. Why not add a fountain or fire pit to the mix? These days, it’s common for friends and neighbors to enjoy hanging out around a fire pit or patio.
Consider Artificial Turf
For true no-maintenance landscaping, there is always artificial or synthetic turf. Don’t mistake this with the indoor/outdoor carpeting of the 70s. Although it is expensive, look at it from a cost-saving perspective. No mowing, fertilizing, watering or pest control is necessary with artificial turf. A lawn of synthetic turf can last up to 20 years in a low-traffic area. The grass blades are UV treated so that they won’t fade in the sun. You’ll have the greenest grass in the neighborhood, and a leaf blower is all you need for a quick cleanup. Although it doesn’t feel like real grass, it will feel soft and supple under your feet.
No matter how you plan to minimize the effort you need to put some effort into keeping up your home’s curb appeal, you can always find ways to make your yard interesting with minimal effort. With a little forethought and planning, you can enjoy a beautiful front yard that doesn’t require a lot of time or money to maintain.