Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas for the Backyard

Backyard Maintenance image by © Patrick Hermans - Fotolia.com

Overview

Low maintenance landscaping involves conserving your maintenance energy in two main areas. These areas are mowing and watering. If a low maintenance backyard is the goal, a homeowner must choose ground covers wisely and consider any flowers carefully. There are both ground cover plants and flowering plants that are considered drought resistant. This means that the homeowner will not need to spend time watering these plants. Additionally, many ground covers are low growing and do not need to be mowed with any regularity.

Rock Gardens

Including a large rock garden area or areas in a backyard is an effective way to minimize landscaping maintenance. Because rock gardens are made up of a large percentage of rocks and the plants that typically grow among the rocks are drought resistant, rock gardens do not have high sun or water requirements. Additionally, rock gardens do not typically need extensive pruning to be kept tidy. A natural-looking rock garden should have various groupings of rocks with the rocks being a variety of sizes. The most work involved in a rock garden is the creation. This is because the arrangement of the rocks is important to create a rock garden that has a natural appearance. After the rocks are placed in a pleasing arrangement, a few drought-tolerant plants or mosses should be added in and among the rocks to provide color and interest. After this is done, the rock garden can be left alone.

Moss

Moss is a ground cover that can be used in a shady backyard as an alternative to traditional grass. In fact, homeowners often struggle to grow grass successfully in shady backyards. Moss stays low to the ground, so mowing is not required when it is used as a ground cover. Moss also typically grows very densely so weeds cannot get a stronghold.

Clover

Homeowners who enjoy the appearance of a traditional lawn yet would prefer a ground cover that requires less maintenance might consider clover. Clover is the same green color of grass, yet is drought tolerant unlike most grass. Clover also resists weeds much more readily than grass and does not require fertilizer to grow abundantly in a backyard. Clover grows low to the ground and does not need to be mowed often. It also makes a soft surface to walk on. Homeowners should watch out for honeybees, though, because they like clover, too. Honeybees are not an aggressive insect but if bee stings are a concern, the homeowner can simply mow the clover flowers more often during the weeks of the summer that they are blooming. This will reduce the number of honeybees attracted to the clovers.

Who Can Help

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.

Photo by: © Patrick Hermans - Fotolia.com