9 Ideas for Low-Maintenance and Foolproof Landscaping

Posted by Laine Smith on 6/4/16 10:00 AM

Topics: Home Ownership

Landscaping. Your curb appeal depends on it, but some homeowners dread the thought of spending countless weeknights and weekends digging, watering and planting. Although there’s really no such thing as zero-maintenance landscaping, we’ve narrowed down some ideas to keep your yard and garden maintenance to a minimum this summer.


Consider Hardscaping

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Hardscaping means to incorporate a permanent or semi-permanent structure into a natural environment. Though it requires some home improvement dollars and some work off the bat, the opportunities of hardscaping allow you to expand your outdoor living space, direct walking traffic and enhance privacy. Ideas include:

  • Adding a stone walkway
  • Expanding your patio area with stone or brick pavers or an additional cement slab
  • Add a pergola

Plant Perennials


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The main benefit of planting perennials is that you won’t have to purchase, dig and plant those annuals every year. Perennials also offer various blooming times, so something in your garden beds will always be blooming at some point this spring/summer/fall. Annuals are great, but they always tend to bloom during the same time period.

Some varieties of these hardy plants will grow so immensely, you’ll need to divide them and replant elsewhere in your garden.

Choose Native Plants

If you can’t keep a houseplant alive, don’t go exotic when it comes to your plant types. Stick with varieties that are tolerant to your area’s elements (and your forgetfulness to water on a regular basis). If you’re in the Midwest, stick with plants such as Columbine, Butterfly Weed, Goldenrod, Poppy Mallows, etc.

Native plants tend to forgo a vast amount of fertilizer, watering and maintenance overall. 

Plant Your Planters

Still not sure exactly how you want your garden beds to look or how certain plants will do in the sun or shade? If you change your mind often, consider this gardening hack. Dig a hole and fill it with an empty planting container. Simply drop in your seasonal flowers/plants and switch them out and around as needed.

Expand Your Mulched Areas

If you’re still push-mowing your yard, cut down on your mowing time by expanding your existing flower beds or creating new beds around mature trees. Mulch types are expanse as your plant types, so check out which mulch option is the best fit for you. Expanding your mulched areas also means less time pulling weeds. 

Invest in Groundcovers


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Groundcovers solve many landscaping issues, including erosion, dry conditions and filling in awkward spots. And they require little maintenance! Check out Better Homes and Gardens article on which groundcovers will fit your landscaping needs

Create a Rock Garden


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You don’t need to be located in an area with drought-tendencies to benefit from a rock garden. HGTV gives some great tips for planting a rock garden and the right plans to go with it here.

Use Trees to Your Advantage


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Trees are worth their weight in value. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can have an appraised value from anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000. How’s that for a return on an investment? A deep watering for new trees and a little maintenance here and there is all that’s required. Check out HouseLogic’s list of best trees for curb appeal here.

Keep Your Higher-Maintenance Areas Close By

The biggest part of keeping your foliage thriving is actually remembering to take care of it. You’re more likely to remember a “needier” plant in demand of attention if it’s staring you in the face when you pull into your driveway. Keep annuals and higher-maintenance plants closer to your home and allot for further garden beds to grow more au naturel.

For more lawn care, landscaping and gardening tips, follow us on Pinterest. Thinking of doing some more extensive home improvement projects? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for information on how to combine your home loan and the costs of your home improvements.

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