Do you know your yard maintenance ABCs? This is something that you didn’t learn in kindergarten. Yet many of us are faced with a big yard and a big problem: how do you maintain your yard in a way that will keep it functional, beautiful, and enjoyable over time? Here are a few tips from Harry Helmet to make you feel more like a maintenance maven than a yard care novice.
1. Develop a Yard Maintenance Schedule
Garden care is particularly overwhelming when you aren’t sure what to do next. To avoid this feeling, sit down and make an annual schedule. Plan what you’re going to do to prepare for each season. For instance, when it’s the fall, you may need to clean out your gutters – unless you have a gutter cover system, of course. Learn more about gutter guards – Download our free gutter guide.
Fall is also an excellent time for garden planning and planting, so that plants are established before the winter begins. By creating a schedule for yourself, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by all of the garden chores that have a tendency to pile up if left unattended.
2. Gather Your Tools
What do you need to make your garden grow? For some people, this might be a hand trowel and a watering can. For others with a larger property, it could be a ride-on lawnmower. Take the time to consider the best tools for the job and the ones that will last. Then consider how you will use them, care for them, and store them when they are not in use.
3. Create Storage
Where do you keep everything that you need to have a pleasant and functional garden? Adding a storage shed and small bins around the outside of your home will help you with your tool storage. If you have items that you use frequently such as throw pillows for your outdoor furniture, find bins that will keep them dry if it rains and that are easy to access when it is warm again.
4. Simplify Your Gardening
Is your gardening just too overwhelming? Plan to simplify. It’s all right to let go of some of your higher-maintenance plants. You can always give them to neighbors if you’re worried about cutting them down. If you’re feeling like your garden is running you off your feet, focus on a few key garden beds with striking plants in them that grow slowly so that you don’t need to prune them very often.
5. Making Garden Rooms Makes Gardening Easier
If you prefer to have a more complex garden but you don’t really know where to start, making garden rooms makes garden planning easier. According to Your Easy Garden, a garden room is “an outdoor small space for a few moments of solitude and privacy.” You can divide your garden into sections, each with a different feel. This allows you to move around and garden in each one, getting them under control bit by bit.
6. Plan for Play
When you’re creating a garden space or simplifying an existing one, plan for how you are going to play in that space. Whether play means that you spend breakfasts sitting under a patio awning or whether it means installing a sandbox for the kids, make sure that you create space for these key play activities. If those activities also bring a mess with them, plan how you are going to manage that mess before you install them. For instance, if you add a sandbox, make sure that your children have a perimeter where they can move the sand around outside the box without tracking it into the house.
7. Look For Perennials
When you’re trying to simplify your gardening life, look for perennials instead of annuals to feature in your garden. This will reduce the amount of time you spend buying and planting new plants. By choosing slower-growing perennials, you can also minimize the amount of time that you spend pruning. Some perennials that work well in many gardens include agave, allium, Marguerite, sedums, candytuft, and Artemesia according to Perennial Resource. When you live in an area that experiences extremely hot and extremely cold weather, look for perennials like these that are both drought and cold-tolerant.
8. Seek Out Evergreen Plants
If you want to avoid the huge amount of leaves that many gardens seem to produce in the fall, then look for plants that don’t drop their leaves in the fall. Evergreen, coniferous trees are excellent examples of these – for instance, the slow-growing yew hedge will look good all year round. You can also look for perennial plants with thick, waxy leaves that stay on all year, such as the azalea and rhododendron.
9. Create Garden Systems
What if the waste you created in your garden could actually be used somewhere else in your garden? Creating closed loops in your garden will make your life easier. For example, if you struggle with a lot of water in the garden at certain parts of the year and then have a dry garden at other times of the year, adding a rain barrel could help you manage these seasonal cycles. Another example of a closed-loop system is leaf mulch: instead of sending your leaves to the garbage, you can use them to protect and mulch your fall garden beds.
10. Keep What You Love
Your garden should be a place that you love to use and love to look at. Make sure that when you’re designing your garden, you design some of that love into your garden. If your favorite thing to do in the evening is to sit outside and enjoy a good book and a cup of tea, by all means, place a garden chair, pillows, and a small table outside, even if you’ll need to maintain them annually. By focusing on what you love in the garden and simplifying the rest, you’ll make garden maintenance easier.
At Harry Helmet, we want to help you make your garden maintenance easier. Talk with us about awnings, roofing, and gutter cover solutions to simplify your home and garden. Schedule a free estimate today.