Gardening Tips for Low Maintenance Garden
Low Maintenance Gardens
A beautiful garden can be a great thing to come home to after a day at work. A ragged, weed-filled garden begging for your time and effort can be a drain on your patience. The key to having the first type welcome you home and not the second is planning. Just like any other kind of garden, a low maintenance garden will take some thought and research. The surest way to get a high maintenance garden is to simply grab any seed, bulb, or bloom that strikes your fancy.
Plants have reputations that precede them. It is no secret that certain plants need a lot of care and others do not—but do you know which ones are which? Have you calculated how much time you spend you spend mowing the lawn and how much is spent trying to get grass to grow in those shady trouble spots? There are solutions. With a quick look into low maintenance gardening, you can be on your way to a more beautiful garden and more free time to enjoy it.
Gardening Made Easy –Unkillable
Planting and maintaining your garden does not need to be a complex ordeal. With the right techniques—and the right attitude—you can be enjoying flowers, fruits, and vegetables in no time.
What could be more welcoming at the end of a long day than a beautiful array of spring and summer blooms? Whether outside or in, flowers add color and life to any home. If you have tried to grow flowers before and have been disappointed by their appearance or duration, you may just need some simple, basic tips for better results.
- Bulbs: Flowers such as the tulip, snowdrop, dahlia, and crocus are planted as a bulb and grow from there. When buying bulbs, they should be plump and firm, and free of any signs of decay. As you might assume, the largest bulbs in a batch will provide the most blooms, while the smaller ones may have a smaller output.
- Flower beds: Most bedding plants are easy to raise from seed, though it would be best to research each type or consult a professional before committing to each seed—some, such as begonias are notoriously difficult. You can also purchase seedlings with two or three leaves already sprouted. Usually purchased by mail order, these come in trays of between 100 and 400 plants. Soon after they arrive these will need to be transferred into seed trays or pots. Plugs are young plants that are more advanced in their growth than seedlings and are ready to plant out immediately. Plugs should have good root growth and the leaves and shoots are not damaged or turning yellow. If you are looking for an easy-care garden, this may be the way to go.
Some basic rules of thumb to keep in mind almost no matter what kind of flowers you have are:
- Keep soil moist by watering regularly in the hot summer months.
- Plants in containers and hanging baskets will need particular attention in dry, hot weather. This could be as much as twice a day.
- Remove dead blooms regularly to encourage more flowers.
- Vegetable and fruit gardening: A big part of growing vegetables is knowing when to plant. Of course, different species require different conditions.
- Early season planting: Some vegetable does best when planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Peas, lettuce, and green beans all grow well in colder soil. Extremely dry, warm soil can ruin your chances for a production plant. Radishes, which also enjoy the cold soil, can be replanted in the early days of the fall, before the first frost.
- Later planting: Squash, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber will all do better if you wait until the soil is warmed before planting. Don’t wait until too far into the season, though—you still need to give the plants enough time to grow and the vegetables to ripen before the weather again turns cool.
While many people spend hours out of their weekends tending to their vegetables, those same people may never consider all the fruits that are easy to grow. Not all fruits grow on large, high maintenance trees.
- Berries: What says summer more than a helping of cool, sweet berries? Blueberry bushes can last for years. They like full sun and acidic clay or rocky soil. If planting more than one bush, space them at least five feet apart. Now, you probably won’t get fruit until the third season, but from then on you can count on an abundance of these summer treats.
- Melon: How would you like fresh honeydew melon right out back? It is not difficult. Plant honeydew seeds a week or so after the last frost. Place seeds about a half inch deep, with two seeds per mound. Space mounds about four feet apart. Like honeydew, watermelon likes warm soil, so don’t plant until daytime temperatures are in the sixties or seventies. Try creating a mound of soil and compost in your garden and planting there. This gives watermelon vines room to meander where they please. Water liberally for the first few weeks. And soon you’ll be enjoying this wonderful staple of summer foods
Stylish low Maintenance Garden
As much as you would like, you probably don’t have all the time in the world to spend in your garden. For those who would rather enjoy the beauty of a garden than be down in the dirt tending to it, a low maintenance garden is a way to go.
But just what is a “low maintenance garden“? When we speak of a low maintenance garden, we mean a garden area that can go at least a week without your having to tend to it. The plants in a low maintenance garden should be long-lived and not in need of replacing every year; they should not need frequent pruning, division, fertilizing or watering; they should not grow to disproportional size. They should also be hearty and reliable, even under less-than-ideal conditions, and should not be prone to diseases and pests. And since you want a garden you can enjoy the whole year round, they need to be attractive even when the glory of their main bloom is over.
Don’t argue with Mother Nature
The first step in creating a low maintenance garden is to do a little research into what plants grow easily and naturally in your area. Plants that are native to your region (elevation and latitude make quite a difference) will require less care than if you are trying to cultivate a garden full of species imported from foreign areas. This sort of research may not sound like the most fun you could have, but putting in a couple of hours of this work can save you countless hours out in the hot sun.
The key here is to work with nature and not against it. Don’t start this journey with an uphill battle.
Ground cover solutions
As much as you may not think about it, a lawn is very high maintenance. It needs seeding, watering, and—worst of all—mowing. Plus there are those spots that just won’t grow because of too much shade or inhospitable soil. There are some great substitutes for a traditional lawn that may save you a lot of frustration and aggravation.
- Clover can be a great substitute for grass. Why? Clover needs to be mowed less often than grass. It also is a hearty plant that can grow in almost any soil. Clover is insect-resistant and is a great weapon against weeds.
- For those highly shaded areas where grass just refuses to sprout up, think about putting down a mat of moss. This isn’t something most people normally think of as an attractive solution, but moss can be quite something to look at. And the thick, green of it sure beats that brown patch of dirt that has been plaguing you.
- Another way to go for those problem areas is with mulch. Mulch reduces the need to water and it is great for suppressing weeds.
- Wintergreen makes an excellent year-round groundcover. The leaves are bright and aromatic, and the edible red berries taste of wintergreen. This grows wonderfully under shrubs and flowering trees.
Picking the right flowers for your garden is not just a choice of aesthetics. There are plenty of hearty perennials that will not cost you a lot of time. Of course, consult a good source to find out which will grow well in your region, but a few perennials that are known to be less needy than others are Peony; Siberian Iris; Daylily; Bulb lily; and the Black-eyed Susan.
Don’t dry out
If it is in your budget, an automatic sprinkler system is a wonderful way to cut down on gardening chores. Not only does it save you the time of watering with a hose or setting up an oscillating sprinkler, but an automatic system will also take care of your watering duties while you are out of town or otherwise indisposed.
Garden Tools for the Low Maintenance Gardener
When we speak of a low maintenance garden, we mean a garden area that can go at least a week without your having to tend to it. The plants in a low maintenance garden should be long-lived and not in need of replacing every year; they should not need frequent pruning, division, fertilizing or watering; they should not grow to disproportional size. They should also be hearty and reliable, even under less-than-ideal conditions, and should not be prone to diseases and pests. And since you want a garden you can enjoy the whole year round, they need to be attractive even when the glory of their main bloom is over.
Sound like the thing for you? Well, to get started you will need to do some minimal investing to ensure that your garden grows and stays low maintenance.
The first thing you should get is a book or two about landscaping and gardening, particularly landscaping and gardening in your region. These will help you plan out your low maintenance garden. Then:
- List your needs: what do you want the purpose of your garden area to be?
- Assess your area: make a rough map of your soon-to-be garden area—what plants and structures are already in place.
- Choose easy to care for plants: perennials that are native to your region will grow the best year after year and require the least tending.
If you have a lawn in your garden area, you will need a mower. A lawn is not low maintenance and there are alternatives to grass which require less time, such as clover, and moss. But if you do need to have a traditional lawn, make it as small as possible, so that all you need is a push mower or small powered one. For the least maintenance, you should consider paving a patio area or at least laying down tile or brick walkways to reduce the mowing surface area.
Now, just because your garden is low maintenance does not mean it is no maintenance. Your plants, a few times a season, may require pruning. Most plants, however, in a low maintenance garden will be small and easy to prune. That means the only tool you will need is a small pruning shear or even a sturdy set of kitchen shears.
If you are planning to plant a lot of bulbs, you may want to invest in a bulb planter. This tool does the work to easily dig a perfect hole for your bulbs. It is inexpensive and available at just about any gardening or home store.
Otherwise, for digging and planting all you need is a sturdy spade or small shovel.
If you’ve got a vegetable garden, you are going to want to protect it from hungry animals with a fence. Usually, posts and chicken wire will do; just make sure the chicken wire goes down far enough to deter diggers. To get the posts down, you may need the use of a small sledgehammer or large mallet.
Once or twice a season, especially after a strong storm, you may need to get rid of some fallen branches. Instead of calling someone to haul them away, consider renting a wood chipper. You can use the chips on top of newspaper or cardboard as natural-looking, weed-blocking material for your pathways or for underneath shrubs. This will save loads of time later down the road.
Of course, there are a couple of basic gardening tools you should have no matter how little time you plan on spending tending. Invest in a good pair of gardening gloves. Thorns and sharp sticks can be frustrating and painful and can get you when you least expect it. Gloves are basic protection. Also, a good set of knee pads may save you a lot of joint ache after just a short while.
Top Tips For Garden Maintenance Tool
Winter is the season when the garden, and the gardener, take a rest. This is the ideal time to look after the Garden maintenance of your tools. Cleaning, disinfecting, sharpening….every tool requires special treatment!
The winter break will soon come to an end, so the tools will resume service with the oncoming spring. Tool maintenance is thus necessary if you are to be ready for the first rays of sunlight.
You should begin by cleaning. The goal is cleanliness, of course, but also and especially, this disinfects the tools and accessories and thereby prevents the possible disease from spreading from one plant to another.
Garden Maintenance varies from one tool to Another
For cutting tools like the secateurs, the branch cutter or the pruning knife, the best way to disinfect is by using 90° alcohol. Once cleaned, these tools should be sharpened.
Tools with axles and springs should also be greased to protect them from friction.
Check the handles of tools. Some may need to be replaced. Wooden handles should be treated with light oil to make them last longer. Fixings at the head of a tool should be carefully checked and greased.
Generally, all heat engines require that the spark plugs be removed. In some cases, an oil change and emptying of the tank is recommended. The blades should be sharpened and the axles greased.
Apart from tools, garden accessories like stakes, pots and garden boxes, pickets, etc. also require Garden maintenance. Again, everything must be thoroughly cleaned. Simply wash them with a mixture of water and bleach to prevent the spread of larvae and diseases.
Wooden pickets and stakes should be steeped in a mixture of water and bleach, and then treated with Bordeaux mixture after drying.
Landscaping Maintenance in your Home
Living in a beautiful home with a beautiful lawn is a wonderful feeling. It’s not just about the aesthetic. Proper lawn care can also prevent pests and aid with the health of your home. It also makes for fun outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy gardening Maintenace, grilling, or lounging, a healthy lawn helps to make for some very enjoyable afternoons, evenings, and weekends. With the proper community landscaping maintenance, you can enjoy everything your lawn has to offer, and you can keep your home and neighborhood looking vibrant and lively in the process.
Regular Lawn Maintenance
But what does that Landscaping maintenance entail? Much of that work is fairly obvious. Pruning of your shrubs and trees is an important part of it. Not only can overgrown vegetation look unsightly, but it can also encourage pests, disease, or weeds. Weed control is another important part of landscaping maintenance. Once weeds have a firm hold in your yard, it can become very difficult to purge them. The best defense is a good offense, and being proactive with weeding and mulching can be very helpful. Nutrition is also very important for landscaping, and most experts recommend a minimum of fertilizing twice a year for a healthy lawn. Usually, the recommendation is for spring and fall. This gives your plants the nutrients they need to survive the winter and thrive in the summer.
Grass and Water
Mowing and edging might be obvious areas of maintenance, but it’s worth noting their importance. Not only can grass get too tall, but it can also be cut too short, which stresses your grass. Slightly taller grass helps with root health and support, while also providing a little bit of extra shade. That extra shade prevents your lawn from drying out as quickly, which assists in maximizing the benefits of watering. That’s another area of concern. Water is the lifeblood of your landscape, but too much of a good thing is never recommended. A common mistake is overwatering, and that can drown your plants and cause a lot of harm. Proper irrigation and proper monitoring of your irrigation can find the right balance.
Low-maintenance gardens are especially good for people without the time or ability to do regular physical work.
This style of garden is mostly self-sustainable. Careful planning is needed for these gardens for their purpose is not for aesthetic appeal only. The time and effort you are prepared to spend will determine the type and number of plants incorporated, lawns or paving and the styles from minimalist, formal or informal.
Introduce pebbles or gravel in beds for high impact and easier maintenance by preventing weed infestation. If plants are chosen according to their drought tolerance you are assured of minimum effort.
Lawns can prove a never-ending effort of mowing, watering, feeding and edging. Other alternatives are ground covers or hard surfacings such as decking, gravel or paving. For visual interest play with different layering patterns when paving and maybe leave open shapes filled with gravel. Soften paved edges by planting subjects without vigorous root systems. Look at the different color ranges, shapes and sizes and make sure your chosen materials are weather and traffic proof. Decking can be wonderfully enhancing to any garden.
Consider the hardy Clover or a flowering type like Thyme for smaller areas without heavy traffic. Be adventurous in combining different mediums together, often seen in Japanese gardens.
Low Maintenance Landscape Designing
Many of the home gardens have typical ”hardscapes,” combinations of walls, pavers, pergolas, and water features. One thing most of them have in common is being over-planted. Some of the home gardens look lie ”plant collections,” with one each of many different species and some others have mass-plantings. There could always be a better way to fill landscape beds with color without appearing cluttered. Otherwise, most of the designs will have twice or three times the number of plants needed and will become much too crowded in a short time.
Not many landscape designers really know about plants. You can easily spot out many examples of plant combinations that won’t thrive because the plants need different growing conditions. A good example is combining hostas, which need shade protection, with ornamental grasses that prefer full sun all day. This might work on a color wheel, but with time, the wonderful color harmonies will disappear because some of the plants won’t survive.
Overcrowding and poor plant choices will make maintenance a real headache during the long haul. Woody plants that grow too large will need to be sheared constantly to fit the space and keep them looking good.
Taxus yews, shrubs should be avoided because they need constant shearing. Fothergilla and viburnum will get jammed into small spaces when they naturally grow quite large.
Purple wintercreeper, a groundcover vine that climbs trees and walls, covers walks and smothers the rest of the landscape. Wintercreeper destroys siding and gutters and is known for attracting “scale,” an insect that covers it with powdery mold unless it’s sprayed every year.
Expensive hardscape designs with outdoor living and dining rooms are aplenty in many of the landscapes but with little thought to protecting homeowners from sun, wind, and rain. Most of the pergolas do not actually provide much shade. Walks and patios should not have more steps, whereas ramps would have been more user-friendly.
It is tough to create landscapes that stood the test of time, getting better year after year. Low-maintenance landscapes take careful planning and require skilled installation. Color wheels are important tools for harmonizing plantings, but a good designer also should have practical experience with real-life maintenance and a good background in how plants actually grow.
Table of Contents
- 1 Gardening Tips for Low Maintenance Garden
- 1.1 Low Maintenance Gardens
- 1.2 Gardening Made Easy –Unkillable
- 1.3 Stylish low Maintenance Garden
- 1.4 Garden Tools for the Low Maintenance Gardener
- 1.5 Top Tips For Garden Maintenance Tool
- 1.6 Low Maintenance
- 1.7 Low Maintenance Landscape Designing