Looking for some low-maintenance landscaping ideas? Most homeowners want a beautiful yard that they can be proud of showcasing, but not everyone has the time to maintain it, and many others don’t want to. If you fall into one of those categories, you may want to consider a low-maintenance option for your landscaping. One that gives you the beauty you want without the hassle.
In this article, we’ll be looking at a few low-maintenance landscaping options. We’ll discuss what each option involves and some of their key features. We’ll also look at the benefits of low maintenance landscaping and give you some ideas to set you on the right path. So, keep reading to see if a low-maintenance landscape is right for you.
Benefits Of Low Maintenance Landscaping
More Free Time
Having little to no yard work to tackle each weekend frees up time, allowing you to relax while you enjoy your yard. It also gives you extra time to do all the other activities you love.
Less Work in The Long Run
Depending on which option you choose, a low-maintenance yard may take a bit of extra work to set up but will mean less weeding, watering, mowing, and pruning once it is.
Easy To Change Up Later
Many low-maintenance options are versatile and easy to change when you want a fresh new look. Replacing the type of mulch you use or switching out some perennials every few years can give your yard a whole new look with very little effort.
Most low maintenance landscape options require far less water than traditional landscaping, which not only saves you money on your water bill, but is also easier on the environment – keeping ground and stream water available for fish and other aquatic animals.
Safer For You
Less mowing and trimming mean less usage of equipment that can cause serious harm.
Low maintenance landscapes generally use little to no synthetic pesticides and herbicides which means there are fewer of these harmful chemicals leaching into groundwater. Additionally, less mowing and trimming cuts down on noise pollutions as well as the need for gas or electricity consumption.
Easy Landscape Tips
Plant A Meadow in Your Front Yard
A beautiful meadow of flowers, grasses, and shrubs is a low-maintenance option that will give your yard an abundance of charm. Although the initial set-up of meadow-style landscaping takes some careful planning and a fair amount of work, once they are established, they require very little maintenance. Some watering and the occasional pruning of a shrub here and there is all they need.
Keeping it weed-free
The key to meadow landscaping is to create “weed-free” conditions before any planting or sowing. To accomplish this, you will first need to mow down and kill the existing vegetation and then sow a cover crop of rye, buckwheat, or something similar. This cover crop acts as a deterrent for weeds and protects the ground surface from water and wind erosion.
Don’t worry about patterns
Once your cover crop is established you can begin planting and sowing your new meadow landscape. Keep in mind that there is no pattern or grid to plants in a meadow. The randomness of a meadow’s plants is part of its beauty.
Another benefit to meadow landscaping is that less water is required. Often, watering from regular rainfall is enough. However, in hotter or desert climates, a drip irrigation system or regular sprinkler should be used.
Be Selective in Your Plants
The type of plants you choose for your yard is an important factor when planning low-maintenance landscaping. You want to select plants that are also low maintenance and thrive under any condition. Ones that require little watering and infrequent trimming.
Plants that are native to your area are always the best option. These plants are already climatized to your area’s weather and are used to the existing soil conditions. This means there is less need for fertilizer and pesticides to help them grow and because they are used to the soil’s natural state, less watering is required as well.
Perennials are a great option to consider because they come back on their own year after year. You may even want to consider mat-forming creeping perennials to replace grass entirely. Some perennials are more low maintenance than others though so make sure you research to find out which are best for your needs and location.
You may also want to consider evergreens. These types of plants come in an array of forms including creeping varieties, shrubs and dwarf varieties, columnar, and trees. They typically need little to no care aside from occasional watering and they keep their beautiful, vibrant color all year round.
Clumping monkey grass is a hardy plant that thrives in most climates and soil conditions and is naturally resilient when it comes to weeds and bugs. It does grow to be about fifteen inches long so depending on your preference, you may want to trim it occasionally.
Keep in mind that sometimes less is more. A few high-performance, low maintenance plants can have a huge impact when placed correctly.
Hardscaping is a very popular option for low maintenance landscaping. Decorative stone, brick, pavers, and other similar materials are used to create a beautiful surface that is durable, easy to clean, and never needs to be watered or weeded. This yard work can be laid out in just about any design from grids to patchwork and anything in between.
If you don’t want your entire yard in stone but like the idea of not weeding, consider adding a layer of randomly shaped rocks in your flower beds. Layers of rock help the soil retain moisture and discourages weeds from rearing their ugly heads.
Type of Stone
When using stone for your landscaping, keep in mind that man-made stone is strong and resilient, so it is best for areas that see high traffic. Natural stone on the other hand tends to be softer and less stable so it should be reserved for areas that get very little traffic.
Wood is another great material to add to your grass-less landscaping. It adds an extra organic element and compliments stone beautifully.
Utilize Fake Plants and Turf
Artificial grass has come a long way since its early days and is a fabulous option that requires almost no work. Made from a mix of nylon and polymer, artificial grass has varying “blade” heights and color gradations that give it the look and feel of real grass without the fuss.
Artificial plants and flowers may also be a consideration but make sure to choose those meant for outdoor use. Indoor artificial plants are not made to stand up to varying weather conditions.
Succulents require very little water and are hardy enough to withstand most environments. They can be closely mixed with other succulents to add colorful variety to your yard. Some examples of succulents include Agave, Aloe Vera, Crown of Thorns, Roseum, and Burro’s Tail.
These shallow-rooting plants do require ample drainage and should be placed in raised beds with well-aerated soil. Sunny locations in your yard are usually the best.
Setting the water system to turn on at pre-determined times is a great, no-hassle way to make sure your yard gets the water it needs without having to remember to water it. Most in-ground and above-ground irrigation systems have timers you can set and are programmed to take the season or time of year into account. If you simply use an above-ground sprinkler, you can purchase separate timers that attach to the hose bib and regulate when the water will run.
Consider putting down a layer of weed barrier under your topsoil. This paper-like material allows airflow and water seepage so your plants can grow but prevents weeds from passing through.
Don’t rake up your leaves in the fall. Simply run them over with the lawnmower and allow them to sit on the lawn through winter. They provide an excellent source of nutrients and are a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
Low Maintenance Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Take a look at these low maintenance front yard landscaping ideas we found. Many of them combine a few of the tips we’ve mentioned above to create a front yard space that is welcoming and unique.
This understated and low maintenance front yard shown by Dig Your Garden is beautiful in its simplicity. Tall shade trees cover a grid of low maintenance plants that offer a variety of colors and textures. The black mulch creates a stunning backdrop that makes the color of the plants pop while it also discourages weeds from making their way to the surface. The stone pathway leading to the front entrance and patio finishes the look off with a clean and modern feel.
This landscaping project shared by Showcase Landscape & Irrigation combines a variety of materials to create a low maintenance front yard that makes a statement. The slate tile pathway winds itself through a mixture of fieldstone and mulch that aids in water drainage and keeps moisture in the ground. Low maintenance evergreen and perennials add to this front yard’s beauty by providing a touch of color and additional texture throughout.
With a mixture of stone and foliage, this front yard showcased by BE Landscape Design is a sight to behold. The concrete stair pathway has a modern feel and creates a cooling effect in this nearly full-sun yard. And the mixture of sand and various sized field stone provides a no-fuss solution that aids in keeping water in the ground below. The look is finished off with various succulents that are a beautiful addition to this drought-tolerant yard.
Syn Lawn shows us a great example of how beautiful artificial grass can be this front lawn needs no mowing, no watering, and very little care. The low maintenance trees, shrubs, and plants add color and texture, and the mulch base means very few weeds. Large fields stones add to the organic charm of this lovely front yard.
Another beautiful front yard is shared by Dig Your Garden Landscape Design that consists of a concrete tile pathway surrounded by pebble accents and rich green foliage. The individual planter beds have a base of grey and cream gravel and consist of hardy succulents and textural grass. The contrasting color of the wood planter boxes adds interest to this modern design.
Low Maintenance Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Just like the front yard landscaping ideas we found, these low maintenance backyard landscaping ideas are sure to spark some creativity and inspire yards you want to spend all your time in.
Roxy Designs shares this meadow-style backyard that consists of hardy plants in an array of colors, textures, and sizes. The black mulch underlay ensures the focus stays on the foliage and discourages weeds from entering the yard. The organic beauty of this lovely meadow is completed nicely with the rugged stone pathway that winds freely throughout.
The pebble garden in this backyard landscape designed by the Garden Route Company aids in drainage and discourages weeds from taking root, and a variety of colorful succulents adds interest and charm. The stone pathway lays in a patch of mat-forming perennials and directs you to the wooden planter boxes beyond. The homeowners can enjoy all the beauty this yard has to offer from the concrete tile patio in the center of it all.
ACRE Design Studio proves that you don’t need grass to have a beautiful backyard, most of this landscape’s ground cover is concrete and stone tile. The combination of stones and wood pair beautifully together and give this yard a modern, organic feel. Greenery is incorporated in a few, easy-to-manage planter beds that require no mowing, and very little maintenance overall.
The concrete path and raised beds give this backyard by Marlin Landscape a sophisticated elegance that requires little work. A mixture of gravel and mulch for ground cover aid in drainage and limit weeds while the hardy grasses provide texture and color. Shade and privacy are provided by the large trees and columnar along the back fence. The light wood fence and bench finish this beautiful yard off by proving interest and warmth.
Another example of how realistic and beautiful artificial grass can be. This ultra-low maintenance backyard created by Courts & Greens has the look and warmth of real grass but requires no mowing or upkeep. The artificial grass combined with the concrete driveway, paver stone path, and gravel border means there is nothing to do in this yard but sit back and enjoy it!
The Bottom Line on Low Maintenance Landscaping
There are so many benefits to low-maintenance landscaping and very few, if any, drawbacks. And with so many different options, you’re sure to find one, or a combination of a few, that work for your home and needs. Let us know if you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions or comments on this topic. Happy landscaping!