Maintaining your property's lawns and landscaping can be one of the most time-consuming maintenance tasks on your plate. Here are our best tips and tricks for spending less time tending to your property and more time enjoying it. Whether you're part of an HOA and handle contractors for your landscaping, or if you're a rental property owner who maintains the yard yourself, here are some key tips that make landscaping easier to manage.
Getting the job done easily and efficiently comes down to having the best equipment. If you don't currently have a tractor to help with your landscaping, this should be the number one item on your list.
"Whether you are building a fish pond, retaining wall or planting shrubs to beautify your home, you need a tractor," says Dave Boyt at Hobbyfarms.com. "Use the front end loader of rear lift to move rocks and fill dirt and the blade to sculpt the ground, level off hills, direct drainage and build small ponds."
When choosing a tractor, the most important factor to consider is horsepower: "If you are going to make a mistake, always make the mistake of buying too much horsepower," says William C. Nelson III, president of Nelson Tractor Company. Horsepower will determine load size, which attachments you can use, and more.
Use this guide from Countryside Daily to determine the best tractor for your needs.
Before you start planning the layout of your flowerbed or garden, find out which plants are native to your area. Native plants have already been proven to thrive in the soil and the climate in your immediate area, allowing you to do less while maintaining their regular growing cycle, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
Use the official USDA zone map to determine which plants will live most successfully in your region.
A berm, or a small mound of dirt where you can plant flowers and trees, is a great way to make landscaping easier for two reasons:
This landscaping element helps with drainage, thanks to the gentle slope of the mound. That means you have to worry less about overwatering your plants, as extra water will flow down the sides.
A berm creates a focal point in your yard. With just one out front or back, you can forget about dealing with extra plants and other elements that would require more work to maintain. Add brightly colored plants to make it stand out.
HouseLogic recommends keeping the berm about 2 feet high, with 4 to 6 feet in width for every foot in height.
Plants and trees are what take a lot of maintenance time. Instead, focus on turning your landscape into an oasis with other elements that will look great even without regular upkeep. For example, build a flat rock walkway from your garage to the back patio, or create a community space where residents can sit on benches and enjoy evening fires. These small touches will go a long way in creating an inviting space that doesn't require constant maintenance.
Half the struggle of maintaining a large, landscaped property is knowing when to do everything, from turning on the sprinklers to swapping out the garden mulch. That's where technology comes in, allowing you to automate some of the work and remind you when specific tasks need to be done.
Start by installing an automatic sprinkling system that you can customize for your property's needs. You'll never need to think about when to water your lawn or plants; the system will handle it for you.
Second, take some time to populate your calendar with upkeep tasks like changing the mulch or rotating the flowers. Set a notification for each one so you'll get a pop-up on your phone or a reminder email when the time comes to take care of the task. Instead of wracking your brain each week for what you need to do, you'll just wait for the next notification.
There are many ways to reduce the landscaping burden around your property. Use these tips to reduce the amount of maintenance that you have to do–or to simply remind yourself when various tasks need to be completed. Either way, you'll be less stressed and have more time to enjoy your beautiful space.