LANDSCAPING IDEAS FOR A LOW-MAINTENANCE YARD

Spend less time taking care of your yard and more time relaxing in it.
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THINK ABOUT THE LONG RUN
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More outdoor space means more chances to entertain in warm weather — and less work for you. Creating outdoor living spaces lends itself to low-maintenance landscaping because you can extend your home while having fewer grassy areas to care for.
PICK THE RIGHT STONE FOR OUTDOOR LANDSCAPING
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Though it can be a pricey option, bluestone has a dense composition that makes it incredibly durable. Despite its name, the versatile stone comes in a variety of colors such as blue, brown, gray, and orange.
BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION
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Establish a solid base for stone surfaces to avoid fix-ups later. If you are planning a stone patio, lay a six- to eight-inch layer of compacted pea stones first. It will prevent weeds and keep your patio level. If you have a good base, it ends up being low-maintenance for decades to come. You won’t have to be weeding things, pulling up stones, and re-leveling them.
GO FOR MULCH
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Around your outdoor living space, add beds of mulch instead of grass. It’s one of the best investments you can have in your yard because mulch breaks down, fertilizes your plants, and prevents weeds. It’s low-maintenance because you don’t have to mow it or water it. It’s also inexpensive and you only have to replace it in the spring. An added perk: Mulch also provides a pleasant aroma for your yard.
PLANT LAVENDER
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For a relaxing aroma and burst of color, plant lavender. Lavender will come back year after year, and it only needs to be watered once or twice a week if you don’t live in a climate with regular rain.
FILL BEDS WITH CRUSHED STONE
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It’s an alternative to mulch. A lot of people use crushed stones in beds because it’s a really good xeriscaping technique. Stone is also a nice option in beds because you never have to replace it.
PERSONALIZE LANDSCAPING STONES
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If you use stone in landscaping beds, consider how much wind your region gets and how the stone will match the aesthetic of your home. Pea stone comes in different sizes, so you can get a three-quarter inch stone if you’re worried about wind. Crushed stone also comes in a variety of colors, so you can change it depending on your style, house color, or area of the country.
FILL THE YARD WITH PERENNIALS
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For low-maintenance plants, opt for perennials. You buy them once, and they come back year after year. For example, hens-and-chicks are tough plants that grow well in rocky, challenging spaces while just a few yuccas can fill a space with grand, spiky leaves.
CHOOSE YOUR FLOWERS STRATEGICALLY
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Add vibrant color to your yard without sweating in the garden. When something’s always blooming in the yard, there’s a sense of added life. Black-eyed Susans are a good summer choice because they bloom throughout the season. In the autumn, consider Montauk daisies.
PLANT CLIMATE-SPECIFIC GRASS
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If you’re not ready to nix grass completely, consider which grasses naturally grow in your region. If you plant a grass that is accustomed to your climate, that makes it low maintenance. You can research which grass grows best in your area, and in turn save money on watering, fertilizing, and other maintenance. For instance: In the Northeast — fescue and ryegrass grow well. Alternatively, in the Southeast, Bermuda grass is a better option.
MAKE USE OF POTTED PLANTS
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Incorporating pots into landscaping not only makes a yard more low-maintenance, but also more versatile. Plus, pots are easy to move around. If you’re having a party on your patio, you can move them to that area. For an added pop of color, coordinate the flowers to the season — try whites and pinks in the spring and summer, and switch to yellows and reds in fall.
GROW NATIVE PLANTS
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Just like you should plant grass that is specific to your region, pick native plants for less upkeep. If you pick plants that are native or grow well in a specific zone or area, that will keep water and pruning prices down.
CLEAR OUT FALLEN LEAVES
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The easiest way to winter-proof your yard: Get rid of the fallen leaves. Get all the leaves off of your lawn so they don’t rot out the grass over the winter.
SPRING-PROOF YOUR YARD
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Once again, the magic is in the mulch. In the spring, mulch everything, because it prevents weeds. It helps the water go straight to the plants that need it rather than feeding the weeds.
TRY OUT TURF
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Have kids? Or pets? Don’t be afraid to give artificial grass a shot. People always ask how to make a yard dog-proof and kid-proof, but there’s no way because they’re going to run around and tear up your grass. But if you give them an artificial grass area to play on, they won’t wreak havoc on the rest of your yard. Plus, it requires zero upkeep on the weekends.
COLLECT WATER
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Collecting water with rain barrels is an extremely easy (and environmentally-friendly) way to water your plants.
PICK THE RIGHT BARBECUE
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For a low-maintenance outdoor cooking space, invest in appliances that last. If you want something that’s going to stand the test of time, go with a built-in barbecue area with stone veneer on the front. A sturdy granite countertop is also a long-lasting feature, and it’s ideal for withstanding varying weather conditions.