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Simple Manifesto #62: Create an easy-to-maintain yard


This is part of our series on Leo Babauta’s Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 62nd idea in the manifesto is:

Create an easy-to-maintain yard. If you spend too much time on your yard, here are some good tips.

Our Knockout Roses

Knock Out Roses | Photo by Jonathan Blundell

There are a couple of approaches to “easy maintenance yards”.

  1. the do nothing approach, letting your yard go to the weeds
  2. the plant smart approach, picking your landscaping wisely for your climate

While the first approach may seem appealing, it looks horrendous.

In our previous neighborhood, there were a number of homes in which the owners (yes some of them banks) only spent an hour or so a month maintaining their yard.

They were an eye-sore to everyone but I’m sure the maintenance was easy for all concerned.

However, my wife and I tried to maintain a good appearance in our yard and yet rarely spent more than an hour or so a week in maintaining the yard — which included mowing, edging, watering and weeding.

Top 2 pointers…

  • Pick your plants wisely. Talk to your local nursery or Master Gardeners to find native plants that grow easily in your area — and require little watering.
  • Weed, maintain in short spurts vs long 2-3 hour stints.

We kept our landscaping fairly simple, picking plants that needed little watering and grew well in our climate.

A few plants that worked well for us in North Texas were Knock Out Roses, Pompas Grass and Crape Myrtles.

After planting each of these, we added an organic root stimulator and then watered them as needed.

We also made sure to pull weeds in small nuggets of time throughout the week, rather than waiting to do it all at once. As we made trips to and from the mailbox, or took the dog outside, we’d stop and pull a few weeds along the way.

As for our new home… we’re still waiting to decide what our landscaping will look like.

We’ve been working to get our new lawn to green up without killing our water bill at the same time.

We’ll likely follow a similar landscaping plan… but you’ll just have to wait and see :-) .

What have you done to create an easy-to-maintain yard?

Join us!

Write a blog post about the point above and then share the link in the comments below…

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  1. Simple Manifesto #64: Simplify your online life 28 06 10
  2. Simple Manifesto #65: Simplify your budget 02 07 10

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