Plan for Low-maintenance Landscapes

Low landscape maintenance is the goal of homeowners, but it’s possible only through proper planning, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings. With the fall planting season coming soon, planning should begin now.

Home gardeners who enjoy caring for their grounds may find themselves designing an elaborate landscape, which requires high maintenance. Owings says consider a simple design that requires less maintenance.

"It is important to consider maintenance at the planning stage," the LSU AgCenter horticulturist emphasizes, noting that elevations, existing trees and other vegetation and projected use of an area all are primary considerations.

Owing says you can achieve low maintenance in a landscape by adopting some of the following recommendations:

  • Reduce the amount of lawn care.
  • Use ground covers and mulch to minimize weed problems and to "fill in" oddly shaped areas.
  • Minimize flower beds.
  • When selecting plants, remember which plants require the least amount of pruning, watering, pest control and fertilization.
  • Using native plant materials in combination with introduced species often will reduce maintenance. These native plants usually often require less and add valuable benefits to a landscape.
  • Pave heavily traveled areas.
  • Use walls, fences or other physical barriers instead of formally pruned hedges or screens.
  • Install an irrigation system to manage water use efficiently.
10/4/2004 4:24:02 AM
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