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Create a Low Maintenance Garden
Step-by-step guide to creating a Garden that requires low maintenance

Create a Low Maintenance GardenAlmost everyone that lives in a home with a yard area wants to have some color and beauty added to the lawn around the home. However, few people in today's busy world have a lot of extra time to invest in caring for and maintaining a garden. Even those that may have the time and energy to put into a garden, would prefer to spend that time with hobbies other than weeding, hoeing and planting involved with maintaining a picture perfect garden. However, this does not mean going without a beautiful garden! There are easy ways to keep your garden low maintenance while adding colorful shrubs, ornamental grasses and flowering plants to your outdoor environment.

Plan Your Garden for Low-Maintenance

Careful planning before beginning any garden or adding a new area to an existing garden is the key to keeping the maintenance low while still keeping the essential elements of a beautiful garden. Simply sitting down and creating a design on paper or with computer software can save you plenty of time and energy. Before beginning to plant, it is best to sit the plants on top of the soil in the design you created and determine whether you like what you designed. If not, go back to the drawing board. You wouldn’t build a house without a design or testing that design, so use the same frame of mind for your garden as well. The goal is to create a lush, attractive landscape Step-by-step guide to creating a Garden that requires low maintenancethat requires only minimal time to care for the plants and garden space.

 

High maintenance gardens tend to involve fighting against Mother Nature. Instead, consider Mother Nature as a friend and incorporate this into your planning. You'll want to utilize plants that fit your climate and soil well and require little, if any, pruning, leaf removal and other arduous tasks. This may take a few more hours of pre-planning but will save you hours of work throughout the entire garden season.

Preparing the Soil and Weeding

Another key to maintaining your garden with little work is to prepare the soil and then place a weed screen over the soil. The weed screen is simply an environmentally safe woven product that is laid on top of the soil to discourage weeds from breaking through. Yes, a few weeds will manage to appear from time to time, but their numbers will be greatly reduced, saving you hours of time. Preparing the soil can involve properly tilling the soil before planting as well as making sure the soil is of a proper pH balance, around 6.5 to 7. You don’t need a professional landscaper to help with this, as soil testing kits are available at almost all home and garden stores.

Adding Low Maintenance Plants and Trees

If you are looking for larger plants and trees to add to your garden landscape, consider Step-by-step guide to creating a Low Maintenance Gardenplants that double as blooming flowers. The type of plant you choose will depend on your location, but can include birds of paradise, hibiscus, or even clematis vines. All of these plants will bloom throughout the warm season, but will remain as beautiful plants when blooms are not available. Combining plants and flowers keeps gardeners from working overtime!

As far as large trees and shrubs go, evergreens are easy to care for and don't shed leaves that you have to rake. In almost every climate, these plants thrive with almost no attention once planted and established. You can find evergreens that range from trees that will grow to be huge specimens to small shrubs that are great for adding privacy to a back deck or porch.

Crotons, brightly colors and available in several varieties, are perfect shrubs for adding a touch of color to your low maintenance garden without using an abundance of flowers. These plants do not lose their leaves although an occasional leaf may fall as the shrub grows. In full sunlight, these beautiful plants will obtain their optimal color but even in a less than fully sun-drenched yard they remain colorful. Crotons are inexpensive to purchase initially and make a great addition to any low maintenance garden.

For height and a touch of elegance, consider ornamental grasses as well. Pampas grass with its long thin green blades and elegant head looks beautiful when mature and is A Low Maintenance Gardenpopular for its low maintenance. Bamboo grass is becoming very popular in many southern regions as an excellent way to add privacy to any backyard.

Mulching Your Newly Planted Garden

After you have determined which low maintenance plants are right for your climate and have planted, it helps to keep the weeds at bay by mulching the newly planted garden well. You can create your own mulch by using compost from items around the home, such as kitchen scrapes and grass clippings that have dried, or you can purchase mulch from a home and garden store. The combination of a weed screen and heavy mulch means much less weed maintenance throughout the garden season!

Tips to Reduce Maintenance in an Existing Garden

To reduce maintenance in an existing garden, you can add weed screen by piercing the screen, cutting an opening to allow for the plant and then adding additional mulch on top of the screen. It may take more work than adding a weed screen initially, but can reduce weeds for a long time.

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