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Lake Landscaping Ideas

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

When landscaping a lakefront property the health of the lake itself must be taken into consideration. Landscaping choices must be made that minimize the impact cultivated plants and lawns have on the lake. Of primary importance is preventing excess fertilizer and nutrients from running off the property and into the water.

Vegetative Buffer Strip

Install a buffer strip at least 15 feet wide and up to 30-feet wide between the lakeshore and the turf area of your lawn. Plant trees, shrubs, grasses and/or flowers in this buffer strip that are native to your area. Contact your local County Extension Agent for recommendations of indigenous plants that are suited to areas with high water tables near lakeshores . This will protect the lake from fertilizer runoff from your cultivated garden plants, trees and lawns.

Hardscape Materials

Use gravel, wood chips or other porous materials rather than pavement for driveways and pathways. Pavement is non-porous and causes water to run-off, which can increase the amount of pollutants or excess fertilizer that is carried into the lake.


Choose to install a lawn using a type of grass that is low maintenance and performs well in your location. Lawns near lakes should produce a minimum of thatch to maximize the amount of rainfall or water that soaks into the lawn and minimize the amount of water running off into the lake. Your local County Extension Agent can recommend varieties of grass best suited to growing near a lake in your area.


About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.