7 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Low-Maintenance Garden

A garden adds beauty and color to your home that other features can’t match. Trees, such as a red maple, have stunning red foliage that increase property value and beauty. The variety of plants won’t fail to catch the eye of anyone seeing or passing by your outdoor space.

Your garden can even become the focal point of your lawn if you plan and design it correctly and choose the right place to cultivate it.  Its also important you get the right st augustine fertilizer for your grass.

Many homeowners, though, often think twice about starting a garden when they already have a big yard to look after. However, leading lawn care providers say that you can have a lovely patch of foliage that won’t require too much care, work and regular investment.

You can do this by planning this outdoor feature carefully and avoiding these mistakes as you start your garden:

1. Failing to choose the best spot for your garden 

Finding the ideal spot on your property is the most important step to take in creating a low-maintenance and thriving garden.

When you start digging soil and planting seeds in just any area on your outdoor space, there is a good chance they won’t grow. And even if the plants manage to mature, they might die prematurely due to overexposure to the sun or because the soil is wet all the time.

Moreover, if you do not put some thought into finding the best spot, you will constantly work hard to water, fertilize, and weed your garden.

The best way to start your low-maintenance garden is to walk outside and consider the area. Does the whole lawn get a healthy amount of sunlight every day or is it shaded by surrounding trees? Are there certain spots that can become overexposed to the sun or take too long to dry up?

By learning as much as you can about your potential garden area, you can select plants that will grow healthily on your outdoor space and will not require too much attention.

If your lawn is surrounded by trees and constantly shaded, you have to cultivate shade-loving plants. In case you live in a warm area that doesn’t receive frequent rain, you have to opt for drought-tolerant ones.

2. Ignoring perennials

It can be tempting to choose plants with the most colorful and beautiful flowers to grow in your garden. However, if you go this route, you will end up having the opposite of a low-maintenance patch of foliage.

Growing native perennials is another trick you have to follow to keep a low-maintenance garden. By doing so, you will have plants that do not require frequent fertilizing and mulching since they are sure to survive in your area. As a result, you will save yourself plenty of work and even money.

You can also reduce the effort you will put into looking after your garden if you opt for low-water perennials. Examples of these are coneflower, bougainvillea, lithops, and portulaca.

3. Failing to consider the maximum size of and spacing for plants

Another mistake you have to avoid when starting your first garden is failing to account for how big your plants can grow.

If you grow plants without thinking about their sizes, you will end up having a disorderly garden. Additionally, the tall foliage could overshadow the smaller ones, and this will affect their health and growth.

As such, before deciding which plants to grow, find out how big or tall they can grow. However, use the details as a guideline and for reserving enough space for them. Keep in mind that, ultimately, their size will be determined by their placement, the weather, and the soil conditions.   

4. Not using groundcovers

Mowing is another chore you may want to keep to a minimum once you have a garden. You can do this by opting for groundcovers.

Groundcovers add color and texture to your garden. Moreover, they also don’t require maintenance and frequent mowing.

Groundcover is also a better option if you have a patchy lawn or your grounds have grasses that fight with tree roots for lack of sun.

Honeysuckle, heuchera, creeping phlox, and lamium are some of the low-maintenance groundcovers you can consider for your garden.

5. Forgetting about mulch

No matter how big or small your garden is and regardless of the type of plants you have, never forget to use mulch.

By adding mulch around your plants, you help protect them from harsh sunlight. You also allow the soil and roots to retain moisture and prevent weed seeds from sprouting.

You can also apply mulch in a low-maintenance way. This entails covering your plant beds with four to six inches of mulch. However, make sure you apply it at least an inch away from the base of the plants.

6. Failing to make watering a simple chore

If you choose your plants well for your low-maintenance garden, you won’t have to water them frequently. This doesn’t mean, though, that they do not need hydration.

An automatic sprinkler system will help you save time on watering your plants. To get the most of this feature, ensure it is installed in a place where it can hydrate as many of your plants as possible.

Another watering feature you can consider is a soaker hose. To ensure your plants get hydrated, make sure these hoses are placed below the layer of mulch.

Whether you choose a sprinkler system or soaker hoses, check and maintain them regularly to ensure they are watering your plants properly and that they are not causing you to waste water and money.

7. Not using pots

Spring bulbs and flowering annuals add color and life to your garden. As such, you won’t be faulted for wanting some in your outdoor space.

However, these plants only bloom for several weeks annually. The rest of the year, you will be left with roots and bare stems.

If you want to have annual flowering plants to brighten your property, grow them in pots. Once they bloom, move them to your garden, steps, and other areas of your outdoor space where you want them to be seen.

Once the annuals die down or become dormant, you can move the pots in an area where they will be out of sight.

If you don’t plan on growing plenty of flowering annuals, consider opting for large pots since they won’t make your garden look too cluttered.

Avoiding these mistakes will make your work of starting a new feature on your property easier. You can also call on trusted lawn care pros if you need help with creating and maintaining a thriving low-maintenance garden.