13 Tips for a Low Maintenance Garden

A bridge in a low maintenance garden. 13 Tips for a Low Maintenance Garden

13 Tips for a Low Maintenance Garden

Whether you’re looking to transform your yard with less yard or start from scratch and want to get on the right track, these low-maintenance landscape tips can help. Who really wants a landscape that requires effort to manage and maintain?

I love gardening, but why do I have to do something I don’t want to do? I want to run around, look at plants, and have a good time in a beautiful space to experience. So let’s take a closer look at these 13 tips for a low maintenance garden so you can spend less time gardening and more time actually enjoying your garden:


Add Structure

Add a permanent structure to the garden. Permanent structures include patios, pergolas, gazebos, sidewalks, fences, and stone walls. Structural elements can delineate outdoor spaces without requiring additional maintenance on your part. There is an up-front investment in installing the structures. Eventually you create a much less labor-intensive landscape. So, if you’re working toward reducing your maintenance burden, this is definitely an investment worth considering.


Do Research First

Do your research beforehand and choose the right plants for the right places. No matter how much you love this hosta, if you don’t have a shady spot to plant it, it won’t grow and will require more maintenance (extra watering, trimming burnt leaves, etc.). No matter how much you love your roses, with out sun, their performance will be disappointing.


Reduce lawn size

When it comes to maintenance, the first thing that comes to mind is your lawn. We spend more time tending our lawns than we do in other outdoor areas. You may have to mow your lawn 2-3 times a week. So reducing the grass area or omitting it can make a big difference. There is also plenty of space to grow beautiful plants.


Plant more trees and shrubs (especially evergreens)

Gardens with more trees and shrubs are generally much easier to maintain than gardens with perennial flowers.

With trees, evergreens, and even flowering shrubs, it doesn’t require much maintenance and looks beautiful all year round. No need to crop, trim, organize, or share. So if you want something low maintenance, try fewer small perennials and more shrubs and trees. Be careful not to plant infested invasive shrubs like the forsythia in my garden. Evergreens tend to be the easiest plants to care for and offer the best value in terms of texture and longevity in the garden.  


Use ornamental grasses and sedges

However, ornamental grasses are rarely used because they give life to the landscape. Most grasses need full sun, but sedges tolerate a fair amount of shade. With research and correct seeds selected, grasses and sedges can bring fun and interest to your garden requiring little maintenance. You’ll also earn bonus points for choosing grasses and sedges to add a wintery touch to your space.


Choose perennial bulbs

For a low-maintenance option, you can use light bulbs to add color and interest to your space. Be sure to choose perennial bulbs rather than single-finished bulbs. 


Reduce the number of annuals

Annuals are the most labor-intensive plants available. Regular maintenance is required. If you’re looking for ways to reduce maintenance, carrying bags of potting soil or constantly changing planters may not be worth it. 


Consider Native Plants

Many native plants are easy to manage and are well-suited to the climate and conditions. Therefore, it often does not need fertilizer or pruning and will return yearly if the conditions are right. They also make excellent food and habitat for wildlife and add “activity” to your garden. Be sure to choose plants that are native to your geographic area.


Eliminate high-maintenance ‘diva’ plants

Get rid of high-maintenance diva plants. Diva plants can become invasive or out of control. 


Throw away trash cans and hanging baskets

Gardening in containers is much more complicated than planting in the ground. So if you want less maintenance, stop using containers and don’t buy hanging baskets. If unavoidable, use an infusion system to water the container. You can also plant evergreen shrubs or perennials in containers instead of annuals. That way, you won’t have to water, fertilize, or replace your plants seasonally or yearly. 


Provide sufficient space for plants to grow to maturity

Another option is to give the plant enough space to grow. Therefore, when planting a new tree or shrub, know its overall size. Knowing the size will give the plant enough room to mature, and you won’t have to prune it regularly or try to “fit” it where it doesn’t really fit.  


Introduce drip irrigation or choose water-based plants

If you can’t get rid of all the perennials and live in a hot climate, you can install drip irrigation to reduce the watering needs of your perennials. However, it must be fertilized, pruned, cut, and divided. So this low-maintenance landscape tip doesn’t completely eliminate the need for maintenance. But it reduces. Alternatively, you can choose “once rooted, drought-tolerant” plants to avoid the need for drip irrigation altogether.


Plant a living ground cover

Using a living ground cover for your garden bed will reduce maintenance if you choose the right groundcover. Regularly re-mulching an area or keeping the bedrock weed-free takes time. summary



By implementing some of these low-maintenance landscape tips, you can create a garden you enjoy without spending every weekend pruning and weeding your yard.