1. Q. I am retired and want to have a carefree landscape. Can you recommend someone to install such a landscape or send a list of recommended plants?
A. DO NOT CREATE "THE BIG UGLY" while attempting to save a little perspiration. Here are some do's and don'ts to consider in establishing a minimum maintenance landscape:
And last but not least, don't confuse low maintenance with no maintenance. Plants will sooner or later need water, fertilizer, and care, and the grass must be mowed. The idea is to find the easiest way to do the maintenance jobs which must be done. A list of recommended trees and shrubs for your area can be obtained at the local county Extension agent's office.
- Do avoid a scattered arrangement of flower beds and shrubs. A cluttered yard with many beds and shrubs will require a lot of hand edging and clipping. That in itself can become a maintenance nightmare.
- Don't try to grow grass in areas too shady, too dry, too wet, or too steep to be mowed safely. Use ground cover plants in these area; there are many good ones to select from.
- Don't line walks and driveways with unnecessary plantings or place foundation plants so close to the house that they can't be maintained.
- Do select plants carefully, considering their ultimate size (height) and width).
- Don't use fast growing plants which will require constant pruning.
- Do use mowing strips or edges along walks, flower beds and around trees and shrubs. These will reduce mowing and edging problems and create a much neater landscape.
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