Is there such a thing as Maintenance Free Gardening? I would have say “no”!
Even if your space is covered in flagstones or pavers of some sort, there will be some maintenance. Weeds find the smallest crevices to call home and if you like that nice clean look you will be out there removing those pesky freeloaders.
But, and here is the BIG BUT, you can achieve a garden that is low maintenance or plant in a way that makes the upkeep easier.
Low Maintenance Flower Gardens are Possible
I have been a gardener for many years. Too many to count or bore you with. Suffice it to say that I have done all of the Wrongs and Rights of Gardening somewhere along my timeline.
With a little planning and research, you can achieve the goal of enjoying the flower garden you plant and have little or almost no upkeep. We won’t include regular watering in this list of “upkeep” modes. Our plants need water just like we do, it is a necessity, not an option.
So Where Do You Start?
There are 3 most important things that you need to know before you begin the quest for that Low to No maintenance Garden.
- You need to know what Gardening Zone you are in!
- You need to know which direction your garden will face.
- You need to know what type of ground you are working in.
These three are the most important questions to have answers to! There is no point in looking for plants that will grow easily in your Zone 5 garden if the plant needs a Zone 8 to survive.
So the first part of your research is to find out that zone. Easy enough to do with the maps that are available from the internet. For American Zones you can check out this link (USDA Hardiness Zone Map) and find your state, match the colors to the zone “index”. This link is incredibly good, just click on the map to enlarge it and you should have no trouble figuring out what Zone you garden in. For Canadians, there is also a Hardiness Zone Map, that you can check out right here: Canadian Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
The Second part of your research means that you should have a sense of which way your garden will face. A north facing garden will get sunlight only in the afternoons, whereas a south facing garden will get sunlight all day long. Some plants will do better in one or the other. Not all plants like the same conditions.
Last but not least in any way, you need to know what kind of soil you are working in. Sandy soil, clay soil, or a nice loamy soil or any combination of these will require some intervention from you for sure.
Acid or very Limey soils will also require amendments, for certain plants, you may want to grow.
There are places where you can send your soil samples, to have them tested or you can test the soil yourself with a kit sold by Lee Valley(Soil Testing Kit). Or if you are interested in the pH of your soil then there are tools available from Amazon, right here:
With this Basic Information In Place:
You can start to garden in a way that suits your personality and desires. For Low Maintenace Gardens ideas continue reading, but you can, with this information, also start gardening in a way that will keep you outdoors all the time. The choice is yours.
The Secret to Low Maintenance Gardens Ideas is to Look Locally!
What do I mean by that? Very simple, look at the gardens that are flourishing in your area. Make note of what grows well and looks nice. If you want to spend more time enjoying the garden, than working in it, you should be planting the things that really like to grow in your area. If they are happy with their surroundings, then you don’t have to coddle your plants to make them look nice.
Make weeding easy, by adding a good layer of mulch to your garden.
Mulching your garden will save you time and effort in the garden by reducing the amount of time needed to water and weed. Weeds that do poke their heads up in the garden are usually easy to remove by hand. No need for lots of tools. Also, learn how to water your garden properly. Watering should be done in the morning, never, never, never at night! Place an empty margarine tub in the garden, set the sprinkler on and let it go until there is an inch of water in the tub. Do this only once a week. It will encourage your plants to drive their roots down to get to the water. Shallow rooted plants will not do as well and will have you out watering all the time. This is not low maintenance or even easy. If you have to be out there all the time with a garden hose, it will become a “chore” and I prefer easy gardening. Once a week watering set it and forget it for as long as it takes to fill that container to the one-inch mark. Once you know how long it takes, then you can set it for that amount of time and shut off the water once you are done.
Use these tips and you will be on your way to the Best Low Maintenance Flower Garden.
Just for your gardening eyes, I will include some pictures of really nice and easy to grow plants, but this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more information to help you along the way to becoming a Low Maintenance Flower Gardener!
This is only the beginning of your journey into having the Best and Easiest Garden, stay tuned to Part 2, where I will give you lists of Low maintenance Garden Plants and maybe even throw in some design ideas to help you along.