Achieving a Beautiful, Undemanding Garden
Try these 10 landscaping tips from Jeff Linderman, Repair Clinic’s in-house landscaping specialist, to create a good-looking, low-maintenance garden.
1. Make a plan. Few people actually take the time to truly plan their landscaping. Study your yard and your region. Consider shade, sun, moisture, foot traffic and other conditions specific to your yard. Recognize that you don’t have to make all changes in one season. The best landscaping is one that evolves over time.
2. Add more vegetation. The best kind of yard is one that’s rich with plants. A yard with more vegetation has greater ecological benefits.
3. Create a walking path. Sloped areas, areas that are difficult to maintain and areas with a lot of shade or heavy foot traffic may be better suited to stone walking paths than to plants.
4. Include drought-tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant plants not only conserve water, but also save gardening time.
5. Ask the experts for preventative-care advice. University landscape design or horticulture departments can provide information about diseases and pests that threaten local vegetation. Take a few steps now to protect your yard and save a lot of time and money in the long term.
6. Plant perennials. To reduce preseason planting, fill your garden with perennials instead of annuals.
7. Leave lawn clippings. Recycling grass clippings provides additional nutrients to promote lawn growth. Contrary to the myth, lawn clippings rarely cause enough thatch to choke the lawn; so it’s wise to leave clippings, unless crabgrass and weeds are present in the lawn.
8. Include hostas in the garden. Hosta plants are shade-loving, low-maintenance wonders that pair nicely with colorful, fellow shade-loving flowers. Hostas require little pruning and watering.
9. Allow your lawn to grow a bit. Taller grass is healthier grass, so avoid giving lawns buzz cuts. Cut only one-third of grass blade length in a single mowing. Grass grows through photosynthesis; so the longer the blades, the more energy available to obtain nutrients for healthy root systems.
10. Choose native plants. Opt for native plants because they require less water, fertilizer, pruning and general maintenance. They’ll also attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other beneficial insects to your garden.
Jeff Linderman, Landscaping Specialist