Creating a Low Maintenance Landscape

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While there is not really such a thing as a no maintenance landscape you can significantly reduce your workload with a little pre-planning. Any low maintenance landscape requires low maintenance elements.

No More Grass

Some people spend their entire weekend working on their lawn. Between mowing, weed eating, fertilizing, and watering, maintaining a lawn can be a very time consuming task. The use of groundcovers is a popular choice amongst homeowners who wish to reduce the time they have to spend on their lawn.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Groundcovers such as creeping thyme, pachysandra or creeping phlox offer a low-maintenance solution to grass."

Natural Elements

landscaped flower bed

Take advantage of natural elements already in your landscape. Existing shrubs and trees, rocks, ponds or other natural areas can easily be incorporated into a lovely carefree landscape.

TIP: Susan advises, "Remember, the more natural and informal your landscape, the less work."

Hardscape Elements

Speaking of low maintenance landscape residents, rocks and boulders are the ultimate in low maintenance items. Once they have been put in place, these attractive lawn ornaments require no watering, no weeding, and no fertilizer. A few well placed rocks and boulders can also provide a great focal point, and a great spot for a garden as well.

Plant Selection

floral vines draped over a fence

When it comes to selecting plants for your landscape, it is best to choose native species that are well-suited for your growing region. Perennials offer a good choice, particularly those parts of the landscape that are difficult to reach, or difficult to work in. The beauty of the perennial, of course, is they can be planted just once, but they can provide years of blooms with little ongoing maintenance.

TIP: Susan suggests, "If you are unsure about which plants are native to your region, visit your local Cooperative Extension Office for help."

Weed Reduction

For a great way to reduce the need for weeding, it is a good idea to consider landscaping fabric, also called landscaping carpet. While it can be cumbersome and time consuming to put this fabric down, such installation can save lots of weeding time down the road. Mulching is another great way to reduce weeds, while at the same time perking up the looks of your garden.


Shrubs can be another low maintenance addition to the landscape, and flowering shrubs can produce the vibrant color that brings the landscape to life as well. There are many shrubs that only require an annual trimming to look their best.