Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Low maintenance landscaping is a method that uses plant life to create a lawn and garden. These gardens need less work for their upkeep and often less water.

As a new homeowner, I assumed that having a beautiful landscape would be easy. I learned that landscape maintenance takes a lot more work and water than I thought.

I started researching eco-friendly alternatives and discovered low-maintenance landscaping.

This article discusses my research on low-maintenance landscaping. I will discuss how a homeowner can maintain a lawn while still having an attractive and fun place to spend time.

I’ve broken things down into:

  • Front yard and garden landscaping and turf grass alternatives
  • The backyard and outdoor space landscaping

If you’re interested in enjoying your lawn and garden and working less, there’s good news. Check out these low maintenance landscaping ideas.

a lovely girl is working on low maintenance landscaping garden

How Do I Landscape my Front Lawn for Low Maintenance?

The first step is to look for a low-maintenance lawn alternative to turfgrass.

Traditional turf grass uses a lot of water. It also requires regular mowing and soil maintenance. It’s difficult to maintain a beautiful natural lawn. Doing so often requires that you hire a maintenance service.

But there are several ways to start a low-maintenance yard. These ideas offer alternatives that mean no mowing, less watering, and infrequent tending.

Artificial Grass and Grass Alternatives

Artificial grass is pet-friendly, fade-resistant, and is a great alternative to turfgrass. This is particularly true if you add low maintenance plants like ornamental grass.

The initial costs of installing artificial grass are higher than turfgrass. But the lack of upkeep and durability will help offset those costs in the long run. Planting beds are a good landscaping idea to help reduce the size of artificial grass needed.

Native Flowers and Drought-Tolerant Plants

Choose native flowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses to fill your garden bed. You can find these plants in the wild or at a local nursery. They are best suited for local soil and climate. Their qualities make them resistant to drought and temperature changes.

This developed tolerance allows ease of care. Also, they help prevent weed growth. Placing the right plants together creates groundcover that keeps weeds from taking over.

The variety of native plants available means there’s something for everyone’s taste. These plants often already work with your local soil conditions. A flower garden offers food for pollinators. This helps promote your local ecosystem and keep the garden healthy, too.

Look at local native plant nurseries or inquire with conservation societies. They will be able to help find the right plant (or plant grouping) for your area.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a type of dry landscaping. It involves collecting plants into garden beds that thrive with little to no extra water.

Xeriscaping designs use drought-tolerant plants and mulches. These functional areas make the most of every drop of water.

It’s a common misconception that xeriscaping requires no water to maintain. It’s important to water the plants when you first plant them. After the plants have developed root systems, the watering will be less frequent.

You should not overlook low-maintenance perennial plants. Perennial plants like Yarrow and Purple Coneflower need little water. You don’t need to replant them each year. Choose perennials to ensure they will work in your hardiness zone.

Another option for watering is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation provides adequate watering at a reduced amount to groundcover plants. This is beneficial for areas that experience droughts. It limits the amount of water used for landscaping.

How do I Make My Backyard Low Maintenance?

You can adopt many of the same ideas used for a low-maintenance front lawn for the backyard. If you have a large yard space, you can combine some of these methods to have a large low maintenance landscape. 

Let’s take a look at some of the methods that will keep your backyard space low-maintenance.

Hardscape Features

Physical structures in the backyard offer more functionality. They also help with maintaining a low maintenance garden. This can help cut back on things such as weeding and watering.

By adding elements that need less care, you can have beauty without as much effort. The following options are great for installing useful areas that are low-maintenance:

  • Build or repair a patio 
  • Install an outdoor kitchen or BBQ pit
  • Paved or stone paths to take up space
  • Rock garden
  • Potted plants
  • A resilient shrub variety

Low-maintenance landscaping adds value to your life. It increases the value of your home. These outdoor spaces dramatically increase curb appeal.

Trees

Shade trees like maple, oak, and evergreens are a great addition to a low-maintenance yard. They provide partial shade while requiring no water or tending from you.

Because tree roots burrow deep in the ground, they are able to find their own nutrients and water sources.

Fruit trees can also be a great addition to a backyard. They will need some maintenance once the fruit matures and falls to the ground if it’s not collected. Otherwise, they can offer a beautiful and tasty alternative to high-maintenance plants.

Path and Flower Bed Fillers

Use fillers instead of organic mulch to fill in some areas in your landscaping. Wood chips, river rocks, and gravel are all-natural resources. They reduce the amount of water your lawn requires.

You don’t need to replace gravel and wood chips every year; you can place them once and enjoy. The material is even better in combination with drought tolerant plants. This creates a simple drainage system for your yard.

Fillers like gravel alongside specific high-impact plants reduce the number of plants needed. This is especially true in large backyards. Here you have a larger space to work with, requiring more filler.

Conclusion

Low-maintenance landscaping allows you to spend more time enjoying your yard. It’s cost-efficient and better for the planet. You can have a low-maintenance yard by following the easy alternatives we’ve mentioned.

Give any of these suggestions a try for a low maintenance yard you can be proud of. Or, if you have questions or suggestions of your own, let us know!

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