Products for Low Maintenance Landscaping
There are many high quality landscaping products available in the market which allow us in keeping the maintenance cost down. The mulches and automated irrigated systems are of great use.
Mulch Products: These are among the kind of products which help lower the maintenance cost. You will find a great variety in shredded mulches; a wide array of products is available to choose from. These mulches are made from tree barks; the barks of Red Oak, Pine, etc. are used in their preparation. The mulch products may initially increase the cost of landscaping, however, in the long run you would have to spend very little on maintenance. For example, a mulch product made from pine bark costs around $80 per cubic meter. The Black Cypress chips are costlier and mulch prepared from them cost around $105.00 per cubic meter. Ground cover fabrics can also be used along with natural mulches for suppressing weeds and maintaining soil moisture. Mulch made from synthetic material can also act as an excellent weed suppressant just like wood mulches. Rubber costs more than those prepared from wood however, the former does not decompose therefore lasts longer.
Automated Irrigation Systems: The automated irrigation systems help save water and time. Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems are the popular ones. Drip irrigation is a method of watering plants at their base in a drop-by-drop manner. The benefits of using this watering technique is that the roots get enough time to absorb moisture and the rate of evaporation is lowered. Another important reason for using the drip irrigation system is that it doesn't wet the leaves of plants; this helps prevent foliage diseases which may result from accumulation of excess water on leaves. The sprinkler irrigation system is generally used for watering the lawns. The cost of automated irrigation systems for an average-sized yard (3000 sq. feet) ranges from $300-$500.
It is the practice of creating landscapes which require 50-75% less water in comparison to that of ordinary gardens. By cutting down on water requirements, the maintenance cost is automatically reduced. The xeriscaping technique has evolved from various practices and desert landscaping ideas used in drought-afflicted areas. The different aspects of landscaping, right from the choice of plants to watering methods, are taken into account for reducing the maintenance cost. The automated irrigation systems and mulches prove to be of great use in xeriscaping.
Mulching: The practice of mulching is used to reduce the rate of evaporation from the soil. It is therefore, quite similar in principle to the idea of using drip irrigation. Materials used for mulching include leaves, pine needles, gravel, wood chips, coarse compost, tree bark, etc.
Plants for Xeriscaping: The plants used in xeriscaping are not limited to a few cacti species. There are many other plants which fall into this category. The Verbena, Pineleaf, Mojave Sage, Penstemon, etc. are a few examples. Leaves of such plants are generally small and possess a glossy exterior.
Ideas for Low Maintenance Landscaping
Keeping the landscape design simple is the most important thing to consider. Adding more features to your residential landscape will also increase the maintenance cost. It is also important to avoid incorporating features such as fountains. There are many other points to be considered in the process of designing a low maintenance landscape. Here are a few more ideas.
- Replacing the lawn with a paver installation is one of the best ways to reduce maintenance costs. Mowing and watering are the activities which take up most of the time of a landscape gardener. If you don't feel like removing the lawn entirely from your landscape, at least the area can be reduced. This can be done by planting shade-loving shrubs on fringes of the lawn; the reason behind this is that fringe areas are generally covered by the shade of trees thus, don't allow grass to grow properly. Sloping areas make it even more difficult to maintain a lawn. You can think of using ground-cover plants for such slopes.
- One of the best ways to create a low maintenance garden is to include rocks in the design. A rock garden landscape is created with a view that the gardener doesn't have to spend much time in maintenance. Boulders occupy most of the space, leaving very little (shrubs, trees, etc.) to manage. Moreover, rocks can be positioned in a manner that they become the focal point of such gardens; appearance of gardens thereby, are enhanced without having to spend much time and money on maintenance.
- The choice of plants matters a lot when you have to create a low maintenance landscape. Plants that are easy to care for must be chosen for such landscapes. As far as possible, local plants should be used; they are less prone to diseases.
- Maintenance of plants in a garden becomes much easier if proper space is maintained between them. Those plants which require extra care should be planted near the house. It helps in keeping a good watch over them from your house.