Landscape Shortcuts for the Lazy Gardener
OK, So maybe you’re not lazy, but perhaps you have other stuff to do and would like to just have more time to enjoy the yard and not have to be working in it all the darn time. Here are a few idea’s I think you will appreciate.
Reduce your lawn.. mow it crazy low, scalp it with a weed eater and cover with plastic, securing with landscape pins for a couple of weeks then cover it with mulch or rock (providing you are not on a slope, otherwise you have a created a slip and slide). If you use this method (instead of removing the sod) it is VERY important to cover with a heavy 4-6mm painters plastic or all the weed seed that has settled in to your sods bare spots will now be a breeding ground for trouble. Plastic cooks the seed much like composting and renders them unviable. This is a method I use often, much preferable to weed cloth, the weeds cannot penetrate the plastic and will sit on top waiting to be extracted. If you install plants, you simply cut large holes in the plastic and fill the plant material and compost, then cover with mulch. From the top it is all one bed, but below it is protected and the area’s without a plant do not get excess water promoting weed growth. Top the new bed with river rock and/or mulch beds (even pockets of mulch in the river rock) then choose the right plants and edibles and space them properly for the least work and maximum benefit . Find some great choices on my facebook page here.
Choosing the right plants, trees and edibles may not seem very lazy considering you have to do your homework first and you can’t just go buy the first thing you see…but planting the right plants saves time, watering and trimming. Space your plants properly, over-planting because you are looking for immediate gratification is just a ticket for more work later. (there are several sources online for CenTex plants, i.e, www. growgreen.org, A&M website, mine, etc)
Mow (what little sod you have left) on a timely schedule…mowing irregularly damages the lawn, allows weeds to go to seed and makes the overall task more time-consuming. Even better, Xeriscape and mulch heavily (4-6″) and you will be SHOCKED by how much easier it is on your wallet, time and our planet. With the rising cost of water and reduced availability it is only a matter of time before we no longer have lawns so take out a little at a time and encourage your HOA’s to get with the 21st century! Mine has and I am proud of them!
Plant more trees, again…looks like work at first, but trees add value, can have huge tree rings occupying space where lawn was and had to be mowed, and provide a really great place to set a bench under or hammock on when the tree is mature enough. Most fruit trees take as much water as a shade tree and provide food, here are some interesting choices.
Desert Willow is one of many excellent low water, low maintenance trees that flower all Summer long. There are also many fruiting trees that do beautifully in this area.
Be consistent with your weeding and trimming, it is far easier to pull up a few weeds here and there while strolling with your morning coffee and to trim a shrub or two at a time than it is to pull the 100 weeds that you have allowed to go to seed. Make the project fun instead of laborious, if you hate yard work, budget for a service, there are many people who charge low rates to do the basics. When it comes to mulching, bring home a few bags a weekend until the job is done, or hire a neighborhood kid to help out.
Remove area’s of the yard/sod that are difficult to get to, have water issues, drainage issues or are just disconnected spaces and replace with a river rock path, dry creek bed or concrete and stone path or patio…talk about low to no maintenance! That crazy space some of us have between the sidewalk and street, or that looooooong corner lot sod that goes down the side of your fence?? Talk about a waste of everything… Now this is more laborious at first because this area cannot be simply covered, it must be dug out to a depth of at least 2″ and hauled away. Then you lay down the plastic and fill with rock, granite, pea gravel, what have you. These are area’s deep in need of river rock or gravel (also line these area’s not on a slope with plastic and secure with landscape pins), and yes, there will be weed issues with this solution, but if you spend a few minutes each weekend pulling up the weeds as they come in, no problem.
Create a schedule for yourself and take it on in small enjoyable bits, life is filled with stresses, taking care of your yard should not be one of them. I own a business and I have a family and a home..I have stuff to do…but with a little a time managements and a few short cuts, you can make short work of it 😉
Lisa’s Landscape & Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
Check me out on YouTube!!
- Posted in: central texas gardens ♦ eco friendly ♦ education ♦ gardening ♦ Native and adapted plants ♦ Native and adapted trees ♦ water wise ♦ Xeriscape
- Tagged: Austin Texas, Avery Ranch, casual gardening, easy gardening, easy landscapes, landscape shortcuts, lazy gardener shortcuts, low maintenance low water gardening, Xeriscape