It’s always nice to have a beautiful garden but sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to maintain it throughout the year. Many of us want to enjoy the finer things in life and spend time in the garden as opposed to working in it. This is why sometimes it is better to create a low maintenance garden that requires minimal effort with maximum effect. Follow our top tips to make your garden the outdoor haven you have always wanted.
If you are after a low maintenance garden it doesn’t mean that it has to be bland and uninspiring. To design the perfect space you first need to work out what tasks and area you are willing to put the effort in. If you can commit to regularly cut the grass but aren’t prepared to water plants or vegetables every few days it will determine how you set out your garden.
For areas that require lots of labour intensive jobs, try to position them near to your house. This way you don’t have to be constantly walking far or carrying heavy equipment up and down the garden. If you are able to install a water point near to the plants or vegetables this also will take a lot of the work out of this chore in the long run.
Above all it is important to manage your own expectations from a low maintenance garden. Obviously an outdoor space that can be monitored and looked after daily will look better than a garden that isn’t managed as frequently. This doesn’t mean you will need to settle for an untidy and messy garden but understanding the limitations of not being able to work on it often is important.
Technology is the lazy gardeners’ best friend. With the right setup, you can cross hours of work off your to-do list sometimes with a simple push of a button. It can often be an expensive addition to your garden, however the benefits are huge - can you really put a price on the extra time you would save? There is no shortage of kit that you can add to your garden...
There are a number of different options available on the market, however most plant sensors will sit in your soil and measure a variety of different parameters regarding your plants. They track ambient light, moisture in the soil, temperature and even fertiliser levels.
Some plant sensors can even send the data to your phone via Wi-Fi so you know exactly what your plant needs at any one time. This can be the ideal garden companion for keen and lazy gardeners alike.
Automatic irrigation systems are excellent time savers, as it waters the plants for you. There are a number of different options available to suit your needs and budget but its best to opt for one that can give the plants the right amount of water when needed. If you can link it up to a water butt, you won’t even need to pay for the water!
A lot of the more high tech irrigation systems can link up to your plant sensors and automatically water the plants when required meaning you won’t need to do anything! Some smart garden systems can also be coordinated with the weather rainfall so you don’t waste your water. With the full set up you can cross off watering the plants from your to-do list.
For a low maintenance lawn, you can never go wrong with a robotic mower. They require no human assistance at all and eliminate the monotonous task of emptying the grass box – they can even recharge themselves when running on a low battery. The McCulloch robot lawn mower can handle a lawn of up to 1000m2 with slopes of up to 25%. All you will have to do is lay the boundary cable around the edge of your lawn and set up the charging station.
You should not be concerned about your lawnmower being stolen either as the robotic device has a wealth of security features to prevent this. Not only has it got a lift sensor the alarm can only be disabled with a pin code that is unique to the charging station.
The lawn is technically the easiest thing to look after. Providing the lawn gets enough water in addition to being mowed at the right times, it is usually very resilient and low maintenance.
To really help with the low upkeep, there are some quick wins that can take a lot of the sting out of gardening and save you time long term.
Believe it or not there are many different species of grass. If the blades of grass in your lawn are particularly thin you should consider replacing with a thicker and more durable mix. The finer the grass blades, the more work you may need to carry out each year with scarification, aeration and watering so you can find much tougher grass mixes that will be much simpler to manage.
If you leave your grass clippings on the lawn as opposed to emptying the grass box as you mow, it can save you a lot of time. This also helps your lawn in the long run as it means the nutrients are fed back into the soil, which can improve its long-term health. If budget allows you can also get mowers that mulch the grass as you cut, which can be beneficial to your lawn.
You can make much lighter work of your lawn with the right mower. Robotic mowers, as mentioned above, take all of the work out of the grass cutting. If you don’t want to venture down this path you can make the lawn much less of an arduous task with a wider cutting deck and even self-propelled drive. A wider cutting deck means you can cut more of the grass in one stripe and a self-propelled drive can certainly help if you are pushing the mower up and down hills.
This has been something of a sore subject amongst most keen gardeners but it definitely still has a part to play. You can get artificial turf that looks just like the real thing but without the hassle of watering and mowing. The general consensus is it won’t look as good as the real thing however it will look smart all year round. It can be costly to overhaul your entire lawn but this could be worth investing in.
Simply put, plants need care to flourish. If you have decided that you need the most low maintenance garden as possible you will more than likely need to remove them. The fewer plants you have in your garden the less maintenance you will have.
Depending on how much work you are willing to undertake, you will need to make sure to remove the plants that require the most work.
There is a lot of information available as to the types of plants that can add to a low maintenance garden – you will need to do your research and plant them in the right spot as some thrive off sunlight whereas others don’t..
For a truly low maintenance garden it isn’t recommended to have large numbers of planters and pots. They can take up a lot of time and the plant can need replanting every so often. If you do opt for planters, be sure to have an irrigation system set up so you don’t have to worry about watering as they can dry out quickly. It is also advisable to have a higher quantity of compost for the same reason.
It’s best to keep your lawn a simple shape when possible. Rectangular lawns are significantly easier to cut as opposed to more irregular shapes. If you are looking to give your garden a low-maintenance redesign this should be one of the first things on your agenda.
For a low maintenance garden you need to do away with the complicated topiary, they can be a laboring and time consuming tasks. Fast growing hedges, in general, can be a lot of work, as you will need to be constantly trimming it back to keep it looking neat and tidy. If possible you should look to swap out the hedge for much lower maintenance varieties like holly or yew.