Whether you are a young, exhausted parent who hardly has time to sleep, let alone prune. Or a retiree who would much rather spend their golden years relaxing instead of weeding. Or anywhere in between. A low maintenance landscape can be very appealing. Here are some tips to help you keep your yard work to a minimum.

1. Choose Low-Maintenance Plants. Some vegetation requires a lot more work than others. Deliberately plant trees and shrubs that will continue to look great with little attention from you. Some great options include:

  • Daylily
  • Sedum
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Dwarf Globe Spruce
  • Geranium
  • Deadnettle
  • Upright Juniper
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • Agave
  • Barberry
  • Hosta
  • Blooming Ninebark
  • Caladium
  • Ajuga

2. Avoid High-Maintenance Plants. Even if you choose a lot of low-maintenance plants, introducing some high-maintenance ones can set you back in your aspirations of a low-maintenance yard. Some plants are finicky and require a lot of pruning, pesticides, fertilization, and care to look their best. Roses are a common plant that requires a lot of work to maintain. Research the needs of plants you choose to introduce to your yard.

3. Make a Deliberate Plan. Walk around your yard and make a plan for all the areas in your yard. If you need space for young kids to run, make that a priority. If you need ample room for big parties, be sure to leave space for that. By starting with the end in mind, you will be able to make choices that fit your entire plan without having to backtrack when you realize you planted a tree right where the pickleball court would fit best. If you are unsure about where to start, contact some landscape design companies to help.

4. Plant Densely. It might seem counterintuitive that more plants would mean less work for you, but it’s true. The more dense your flower beds are, the less room there will be for weeds to sneak in. Avoid turning the soil, too. Dormant weed seeds can be exposed to sunlight and begin germinating.

5. Mulch. Mulching heavily can also keep weeds at bay. Use compost or shredded bark. As an added bonus, mulch will also insulate your plants from temperature extremes.

6. Fertilize the Grass. Taking an hour or two to fertilize your lawn may seem like the opposite of low maintenance, but it will cut down on the overall amount of work you will need to put into it. Fertilize at least once each season. Pick a fertilizer with weed control in it to cut down on even more work.

7. Utilize a Ground Cover. To cut down on lawn care, replace some of your grass areas with a beautiful ground cover that fits your climate and that area of your yard. Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens), Caucasian Stonecrop (Sedum spurium), Upright Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia rigida), and Royal Dewflower (Drosanthemum speciosum) are some beautiful options. For the area you want ground cover, determine the amount of sunlight it receives each day to help you pick an appropriate plant that can thrive there.

8. Hardscape. A patio, courtyard, walkway, sports court, dry river creek bed, or other hardscape feature will cut down the softscape your yard will need and thus reduce the number of living plants you will have to maintain. Contact a local hardscape company for a quote.

9. Choose Drought-Tolerant Plants. If you are hand watering your vegetation because you don’t have a sprinkler system, you can cut back on watering with plants that aren’t as thirsty. Bright Gold Yew, Boxwood, Redtwig Dogwood, Smooth Hydrangea, and Japanese Spirea are some beautiful drought-resistant options. Remember that for the first year or two that a plant is in a new environment, it will need a little more water. However, once it is established with a good root system, its water needs will decrease.

10. Install a Sprinkling System. Even with drought-tolerant plants, watering can be a big task. An automated sprinkling system can help cut down on time spent manually moving sprinklers through your yard. It also is a more efficient use of water, as you can set it to time specifications that will eliminate water waste.

11. Mow to the Right Height. You might think cutting the grass a little shorter may allow you to stretch out the time between necessary mowings, but you’re actually creating more work for yourself. Grass that is too short is more susceptible to sun damage and weed growth.

By implementing some of these tips, you can reclaim your time while still having a stunning yard.