Many people I talk to want a low maintenance landscape, so let’s break down what low maintenance even means. Low maintenance could be 30 minutes of weeding after work, 1 hour every Saturday morning, a couple hours every week, all the way to never touching your garden beds again. I am sorry to inform you, especially if you fall in the very last option, pretty much every garden bed will need some TLC now and again. But, if you want to strive for a landscape that needs less tending too, here are some options to consider when planning your beds.
- Embrace the space you already have. Focus on redesigning your current garden beds instead of creating new spaces. The more garden beds you have the more work is required from you.
- Rock Vs Mulch. This could be a blog in and of itself. But in short, rock requires less maintenance than mulch. You will pay more for rock up front than you do for mulch. But, rock does not need to be refreshed over the years, and rock does not fade in the sun like mulch.
- Consider hardscaping. Hardscaping is a term used to refer to any of the hard surface, or non-plant elements used in a planned outdoor space. These elements can include paver walkways, driveways, segmental retaining walls, stonework, and low-voltage lighting. You can consider turning the lawn you hate to mow into a nice paver patio.
- Add planters into landscape beds. Instead of having a large shrub that requires pruning, an alternative would be a large planter. A planter can go in the place of anything that is growing out of control and can act as a focal point. Consider swapping out the annuals in the spots as the season changes.
- Use less plants. This one speaks for itself. The less plants used equals less time to take care of them. You don’t have to worry about the space looking empty, there are a lot of design techniques to make the space look effortless and clean.
- Irrigation. Install a drip irrigation system after the landscape has been installed. They even make timers to turn the system on and off, so you don’t have to think about watering.
- Hire a maintenance company. Knoxville has several landscape companies that will keep the garden beds clean for you. This allows you to have a little more flowers and bloom but not have to worry about the upkeep.