More Maintenance Free gardening

Asked June 23, 2018, 5:13 PM EDT

Right now I do the weeding, mulching, mowing, trimming, etc. on my 1/2 acre in Severna Park. My husband does not enjoy any of the above except when he mows on the riding mower. I need someone to suggest how I might stop becoming a slave to my flower gardens and enjoy them more as I get older and will not want to spend so many hours working in the gardens. I know I am a perfectionist.

Anne Arundel County Maryland shrubs plant care maintenance free gardening

1 Response

This is the goal of many of us.
A few ideas:
- Replace any plants that require annual pruning with plants that will ultimately fit their space.
- Fill in all bare areas so no mulching is required. Use groundcovers or fill with shrubs.
- Let some areas be "natural" under trees and shrubs, so their shed leaves and shade outcompete any weeds. Let fallen leaves lie. Add ferns and native groundcovers such as Canadian ginger, phlox stolonifera, iris reticulata, green and gold, etc. to add interest. Eventually they may entirely fill in the area, but you don't need to do anything to the area while they are filling in.
- Trees, shrubs and lawn are the least labor intensive plantings.
- Avoid all foreign invasive plants, i.e. English ivy. You will always be battling these.
- Plant only plants that are hardy and suited to the light, water and soil conditions you have or else they will constantly be weak and attract insect and disease pests.

The following landscaping ideas may also be helpful: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/earth-friendly-landscaping

ECN