There’s something very peaceful and satisfying about ending the day or week with a drink on the terrace as you take in the beauty of the natural world. However, for many busy people, finding the spare hours to create and then maintain a terraced garden just seems too challenging. Luckily, there are ways that you can add some greenery to your outdoor spaces without having to worry about long hours of upkeep. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Carefully Plan the Design
One of the first things you should do when building a low-maintenance garden is plan it out in advance. Thoughtful planning will help you in a variety of areas. For example, if you want to start out slowly with a limited number of plants, you should begin just one project at a time, such as a simple container garden located near your door. That way, if you want to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables, you can just duck out to collect produce when you need it and to top up the planter with water as required.
Also consider the layout of your garden. It pays to utilize vertical space well, and stack or hang pots so that it is easier and quicker to water and maintain them. You should also think about choosing a diverse range of plants that complement each other. If you have a variety of species in the one garden bed, this imitates the patterns found in nature, and confuses any pests which come looking for food from just one type of plant.
You can also work with nature by planting species which support each other to grow. For example, a tall plant can provide shade for smaller species, while a low-growing one can provide a canopy of leaves down near the soil that cools and shades it in summer.
Utilize Watering Systems
Watering is one element of gardening that can typically take up a lot of time. If you’re very busy you should look at installing some automated watering systems which can do the job for you and keep your plants healthy day in and day out.
Rather than having to drag a hose from garden bed to garden bed each day in dry seasons, install a simple system which feeds a slow, steady flow of water directly to the root zones of plants (soaker hoses), or which spray a wide area at one time (sprinklers). Just make sure that you keep an eye on your systems to make sure they’re functioning properly. If not, check out top residential sprinkler repair services online for assistance. You might also like to try out some self-watering pots if you’re sticking to a small, limited garden to start with.
Another way to cut back on watering, as well as reduce the amount of time you have to spend weeding and maintaining your garden, is to add mulch to each bed. You can use things such as fresh lawn clippings, fall leaves, straw, and the like. A good-sized layer of mulch spread around will help the plants to stay healthy because it retains moisture, suppresses weeds, insulates the soil, and then adds to the soil as it breaks down.
Mulch helps to stop soil temperatures from fluctuating wildly throughout the year, something which can negatively affect plants, while also stopping weed seeds from blowing in on the wind and taking hold in your garden beds.
A thick layer of mulch spread around all your plants also reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation, while at the same time preventing the surface of the soil from drying out. This all means less time you have to spend weeding and watering every week.
Lastly, keep in mind that the more organized you are, the more efficiently your gardening time can be spent. Maintenance around the garden can pile up quickly just like housework, so if you spend a little bit of time taking care of your plants regularly (just ten or 15 minutes per day), you won’t have to get stressed out by mammoth sessions each month or quarter.
It also pays to keep your gardening tools organized and in good order. There’s nothing worse (or more annoyingly time-consuming) than having to try and find tools or supplies when you want them, or having to get items fixed before you can finish simple chores.
Think about keeping a gardening kit by your back door. This might contain your gloves, a weeding tool, some shears, and potentially even a watering can, and will make it easy for you to step outside and complete your routine gardening work at the end of a busy day.