Five Tips for a Lower Maintenance Garden

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A low-maintenance garden can still look special. You can take steps to reduce the amount to work you put into your garden while at the same time making it healthier and beautiful. Try these tips!

Including some lawn areas and blocks of the same type of perennial can reduce overall maintenance time.

Including some lawn areas and blocks of the same type of perennial can reduce overall maintenance time.

1. Use a mulch-and-compost blend. These mixes are half bark mulch, half compost. They conserve moisture and suppress weeds while feeding the soil and improving drainage.

2. Plant in drifts. Devote sections of the garden to one kind of perennial that has proven itself in your area. This way any maintenance can be done in one fell swoop, since all the plants will need the same input at the same time.

3. Choose perennials and shrubs with multiple seasons of interest. This saves you from having to plant and maintain annuals for color each season. Choosing plants whose primary interest is in their leaves provides for longer, consistent beauty. 

4. Keep some lawn. Garden areas can be more demanding than turf, particularly if you don't require a "perfect" lawn. 

5. Edge your beds and install edging. Take some time to re-carve your beds in spring and install six-inch-deep, heavy-duty edging. Your garden will look neater and grass won't invade the beds.