Low Maintenance Landscapes? 3 Tips For You

By Allyn Paul, filed under Landscape Tips.

I’m into the so-called “home shows.” From Bob Villa to Paige Davis, and everyone in between, I’m watching them on Saturday mornings. My favorites, of course, are the landscape shows.
–Some are good, and some are really quite bad. I even find some to be downright annoying… …especially the ones where the home has a value of $500,000 or more, yet the homeowners are squawking about keeping the landscape budget under $1,500.
Yet, others are on the opposite end. The landscape designer plants a forest of trees and installs a $20,000 hardscape around a house where the siding is falling off.
Either way, I get a lot of good information from these programs, namely, I’ve learned that you really don’t have to know jack-squat about landscaping in order to have your own landscape show. Big biceps, a metro-sexual swagger, and floppy surfer hair will get you a job hosting any of them.
What I want to focus on, however, is a concept that seems to be running rampant across the gamut. That thread being the concept of a low maintenance landscape.
Just exactly does that mean?

Is the homeowner telling you they don’t have a green thumb? …or are they just saying they don’t like to sweat in the garden?
Whatever the reason, I have some news for you: the only low maintenance landscape is made from sand and mortar mix, otherwise known as concrete!

I have to share with you the sad state that some people keep their landscapes in.
I recently saw several homes in a high-class subdivision with landscapes that looked like they belonged in the rear parking lot of the local bowling alley rather than in front of a million-dollar property. Why is this?

The truth is, folks, anything worth having requires periodic maintenance.
Your car requires weekly maintenance, including filling up with gas and washing … yet, when you’re done with it, it is worth nearly nothing.

Have you ever heard a husband say, “I’m looking for a low-maintenance wife!”
The truth is, anyone who’s been married knows that prospect is pure, laughable fiction.
How about the low-maintenance teenager? …does that being exist? No way!
Maybe I could get a low maintenance job. You know, the kind of job where you work if you feel like it, show up when you just happen to get some time, and still get your full paycheck at the end of the week.
Look folks, the wages of hard work in any endeavor almost always yields reward.
Why would you not find a similar value in your green spaces?

Here are some basic tips for maintaining a healthy landscape:
(1) Watering. Yep, the trees and shrubs need to be watered also. Run the hose on them a couple times per week. By the way, your lawn sprinkler won’t do the trick … so don’t waste your water.
(2) Fertilizing. I like having a pro do this. They can drench or inject liquid fertilizer in the root zone of your plants in Spring and Fall. This really gives them a major boost.
–also, don’t waste your money or effort on plant spikes. Those work great for houseplants, but are minimally effective in outdoor situations.
(3) Pruning. This one can be fun if you make it such. I’m not a fan of the super shape or contour. I like a natural, but not overgrown look. I perform 99% of my landscape pruning with a hand pruner and clip a few limbs here and there throughout the entire growing season. This allows me to continually monitor my plants, as well as it puts less stress on them when only small amounts are clipped within one setting.


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One Response to “Low Maintenance Landscapes? 3 Tips For You”

  1. ALFRED P Says:
    4Avatars v0.3.1 v0.3.1

    preach it!! that was good stuff. i like your thoughts on people who don’t want to do alot of work on their landscape, but they want their landscape to be like the morton arboretium.

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