How to Design a Low Maintenance Garden

When it's 90 degrees in late July, the last thing you'll want to be doing is deadheading in the garden. By carefully planning your landscape you'll be able to create a beautiful, low maintenance garden and avoid these undesirable tasks.

Understanding and selecting plants that fit your climate, soil and sun is the key to success. If a plant is unsuited to survive in the area you place it (for example a shade plant in a sunny area) they will require more of your attention and time to survive.

Understand Your Site

Take some time to observe the area you would like to plant and consider these key condition factors:

  • Sun - Determine how much sun your site will recieve each day. An area is considered full sun if it receives 4-6 hours, part sun is 2-4 hours, and anything under 2 hours is considered shade.
  • Cold - Make sure you know your hardiness zone. Generally speaking, the Yarmouth area is a Zone 5 and can support any plant with a hardiness zone of 5 or below.
  • Moisture - Most plants can thrive in a moist, well drained soil, but most sites aren't that easy. Luckily, there are plants perfectly suited for very wet or very dry conditions.
  • Deer - They may be cute, but deer can devastate plantings (especially in the winter). The best way to fend off hungry deer is to plant things they prefer not to eat.
  • Wind - Many plants are not suited to high wind conditions.

Do Your Research

Once you understand your site, begin researching plants that work for your conditions. You can visit our online plant catalog, ask our staff for plant particulars, or search the web. This could take some time, but can save on costly mistakes and many hours of maintenance in the future.

Follow a Few Basic Rules

Finally, follow these tips to reduce maintenance time:

  • Plant more shrubs and trees and fewer perennials
  • Plant "blocks" of color (multiples of the same plant) instead of a single variety
  • Plant site appropriate groundcovers to inhibit weed growth
  • Find plants that require little if no pruning, deadheading, or special care
  • Plant native plants that are already perfectly suited to our weather
  • Remove unwanted grass and weeds before preparing your bed
  • Stay ahead of the weeds - never let them go to seed!
  • Amend the soil with organic material
  • Mulch to retain moisture and reduce weed growth