You want a low maintenance yard? Pave that thing over. You’ll never have to mow, trim, spray, or pull a weed ever again. Of course you’ll have the ugliest, hottest, most unpleasant property in town. The surface will be ideal for playing hopscotch, but not much else, so you’ll never see your kids again. Even your dear (formerly loyal) dog will depart for greener pastures.
So don’t do that.
Plant artificial grass instead
It’s the perfect foundation for any low maintenance yard, whether your space is petite or expansive, sunny or shady, hilly or flat, or even a weird shape. And it is the epitome of low maintenance. Artificial grass looks and feels sumptuous, but it’s never fussy. You might say it’s the down-to-earth alternative to always-needy live grass.
You can install a full-size lawn, or use artificial grass to create smaller grassy areas that are both pretty and walkable.
Grass is just the beginning
Read up on sustainable landscaping practices for residential yards. Aiming for low maintenance will save you time and dramatically reduce your water consumption, but there are other things you can do to overtly encourage a naturally sustainable environment in your yard. One of our favorites is planting to invite birds, bees, and butterflies. These wild critters add beauty and sounds, and they are endlessly entertaining. And the flowers they love most are probably some of your faves, too.
Choose native and other drought resistant perennials, shrubs, and trees to leaf out your landscape plan. There are hundreds of choices, from groundcovers to trees – more than enough variety to create exactly the atmosphere you want. And they are all low maintenance by nature.
Make savvy use of hardscapes
The “total pavement” scenario we described at the beginning is just plain silly, but you do need some durable surfaces for certain functional areas within your yard. There are plenty of materials you can use for pathways and patios that are both low maintenance and environmentally-friendly.
For example, you know that combining artificial grass with stepping stones or pavers makes a permeable walkway that is visually welcoming. But did you know that one of the hottest new trends is to use that same technique for your driveway? Picture a front yard where your driveway seamlessly merges with the path to your front door – a single design that is as smart-looking as it is low maintenance.
There’s more to a traditional high-maintenance yard than lawn care and endless over-watering. Shrubs, flowers, and trees can require time-consuming tweaking, too – pruning, trimming, deadheading. Some of that can be an enjoyable part of gardening, enabling you to commune with your garden as you work in it. Often, though, we cause ourselves a lot of extra work by planting wrong-sized or fussy varieties.
So consider ultimate size, growth habits, etc. as you make your landscape plan and choose the plants to bring that plan to life.
You don’t have to bulldoze your existing yard to create a low maintenance haven. Replacing your lawn with artificial grass is a top priority, because natural lawn grass is your worst enemy when it comes to maintenance time and expense, not to mention water wastage.
Once you get rid of that, though, you can think maintenance reduction as a goal, and work toward that transformation incrementally. Pavers with artificial grass here, plants that are more drought tolerant there. Before you know it, your yard will be a showcase of low maintenance loveliness. You’ll look back and wonder you do this sooner.