Maintenance-Free Gardens: Everything You Need to Know
A flower garden in full bloom is every gardener’s masterpiece. And like most great masterpieces, each brush stroke is calculated, the color palette chosen in advance, and the overall composition exists in the artist’s mind well before touching brush to canvas, or in this case, trowel to soil.
Although we all appreciate the beauty of a healthy garden, few actually take the time to create their own. Perhaps it is the unwillingness to devote hours each day tending to the garden that stops most people. But the best gardens are virtually maintenance free, and with proper planning you can create a masterpiece garden that requires minimal upkeep. Just follow the tips below:
- Tangling With Weeds
Weeds are every gardener’s enemy, and many a gardener spends his days battling them on every front. However, with a little preemptive strategy, most of these battles can be avoided. Weeds sprout up in new gardens because their roots were hiding below the otherwise pristine looking surface. So make sure you eradicate these roots from the very beginning. Dig up all the soil in which you will place your garden. Dig deep enough to reach all the roots. Turning over the soil will dry up roots and prevent weeds from running rampant in your new garden.
- Paths Offer Potential
A common mistake many gardener’s make when hastily planting a gardening, is to inadvertently block off sections of the garden. This will cause headaches in the future, especially if you’re forced to climb through prickly bushes every time you need to prune your favorite shrub. There’s no need to bushwhack through your own garden. Instead, integrate pathways through your garden. Stepping stones or even paved walkways will allow you to reach each section more easily. You might even consider hanging those pawleys islands hammocks in a secluded nook. Garden paths greatly expand your garden’s potential.
- Place Needy Plants Nearby
Remember that favorite shrub hidden in the back of the garden? If you had placed it in front of those prickly bushes, pruning wouldn’t have been such a hassle. Some plants need more attention than others. Why not plant them in the most convenient place possible? This will make your gardening experience much more enjoyable.
- Make a Lawn for Mowing
When it comes to mowing the lawn, all yards are not created equal. Some lawns seem to take forever to mow despite their small size, while other much larger lawns are a breeze to mow. Designing a lawn without sharp angles and multiple obstacles will make mowing easier. Stick to slowly curving edges and rounded corners. If you can mow the entire perimeter without stopping and turning, then you will love mowing your lawn.
- Moveable Plants Add Depth
Keeping some plants in containers is a great gardening strategy. Not only are decorative pots attractive additions to your yard, but they also allow you to rearrange your garden effortlessly to create a new look. Additionally, pots increase the types of plants you can keep in your garden. Even those plants that are a little fragile can appear in your garden, because you’ll be able to move them to safety in the event of a heavy rain or sudden heat wave.
- Go Native and Save on Water
Native plants offer advantages over non-native species, because they are well adapted for the climate. This means they will not need daily flooding to stay healthy, and this will save you from a hefty water bill. Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to native species, but keep in mind the water needs of each plant you do choose. Keeping thirsty plants together will make watering much easier.
Integrating drip irrigation into your garden plan is a real time saver. Pair it with a lawn sprinkler system, and your watering needs will be virtually maintenance free. Of course, the expense of this might be prohibitive for some. Fortunately, soaker hoses are a great alternative. Regardless, of the watering method you decide on, consider it during the design phase to best implement it into your garden.
- Pruning Keeps Plants Healthy
Pruning is essential to keep many plants healthy, but you can limit the time required to prune by choosing low maintenance plants and by pruning for the right reason. Some people choose fancy, artificially shaped plants, only to discover it requires lots of effort to maintain their original shape. Instead of pruning for for aesthetic appeal, prune with the health of you plants in mind. Additionally, many plants require little pruning. Those that grow more slowly generally require less pruning.
Closing Thought: By visualizing your perfect garden and creating a composition well before playing in the soil, you’ll be able to create a garden environment, which is time efficient, easy to maintain, and a pleasure to look at. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and design your own masterpiece garden!
Jay Chua is an online publisher and passionate gardener. When he’s not tending to his own garden, he’s reading and writing about gardening or working on his website, PorchSwingSets.com, which provides useful information on many of the newest and greatest backyard seating options. His site offers reviews that can help readers decide on the right hammock chairs stand or choose between the best metal porch swing.