Easy Come, Easy Grow
The garden of your dreams can come true with these 10 tips for an easy-care garden.
If life were a fairy tale, gardens would stay green and gorgeous all year long without watering, weeding, pruning or pampering.
Close your eyes and make a wish. The garden of your dreams can come true with these 10 tips for an easy-care garden.
- Forget the stereotypes
Not all pretty gardens are neat rows of shrubs and sprawling beds of cascading flowers. To cut down on garden upkeep, why not include a paved patio or gravel path? After all, when's the last time your driveway needed to be watered?
- Use common sense
Remember those words of wisdom from your mother? They apply to planning a garden, too. Plant flowers near a faucet, keep your compost pile near your planting beds—anything to minimize trips across the yard. They may seem short, but they add up and take time.
- Bigger is not always better
This one's a no-brainer: The smaller your garden, the fewer plants to care for. Don't go too tiny, but make it manageable. You can always expand later.
- Space it out
If planting directions recommend leaving 6 inches between flowers, don't leave less. Your garden may seem bare at first, but it will fill in. Plant too closely now, and you'll be thinning, pruning or even removing plants later.
- Think outside the (flower) box
Container gardening is easy and fun, but it can be time-consuming. Some potted plants need to be watered daily. Cut back on the number of containers in your garden, and you'll cut back on watering chores—guaranteed.
- Mulch is a must
Mulching is a great way to control weeds, keep soil moist and improve the overall health of your plants. That means you spend less time weeding, watering and tending to wilted blooms.
- It's easy being evergreen
When planting trees and shrubs, choose more evergreens over deciduous plants, which shed seasonally and need more pruning. That's more work in the leaf-sweeping department.
- Pick perennials
Perennials are perfect for an easy-care garden. They die back in winter and re-emerge in spring—no replanting necessary. Annuals, on the other hand, are planted each year.
- Know your nursery
Every region is different, so the best recommendations for easy-care plants often come from staff at a nearby garden center. Live in a dry area? Ask for a list of drought-resistant plants. You get the idea.
- Stick to your plan
When buying plants, you'll almost always see a colorful bloom that looks too good to pass up. But remember, you preplanned your shopping list for a reason. The blooms on that list are the ones that are best for your garden and lifestyle. So buy them and get planting. Then kick back and enjoy your low-maintenance backyard!