What Are Your Best Options For A Gorgeous, Low-Maintenance Lawn And Garden?

Posted on: 8 April 2015

Spring is often the time when a homeowner's thoughts turn to landscaping. Whether you want your neighbors to turn as green with envy as the grass in your yard, or would like a flower garden that has pops of color all spring, summer, and fall, you may already be mentally designing this year's garden. However, maintaining these picturesque lawns and gardens can often be a chore in itself. Read on to learn more about some low-maintenance trends that can give you an enviable lawn with a minimal amount of effort.

Select a hardy grass seed

The literal foundation of all your lawn and gardening efforts is the lawn itself. To ensure a lush and low-maintenance swath of grass, you'll want to purchase a quality and hardy breed of grass seed. The best type of seed to purchase will depend both on your local climate and the look you wish to achieve.

Before applying grass seed to your lawn, you'll want to perform a soil test to ensure that everything is in order. It doesn't make sense to invest time and money in planting grass seed if your soil is too acidic or alkaline to provide a good growing environment. These test kits are available at most home improvement or lawn and garden centers. If the test reveals that your soil's chemical levels are out of balance, you should be able to apply a treatment or neutralizer to help restore the pH balance of your lawn.

While you're testing and treating your lawn, you can evaluate the type of grass seed to purchase. If you live in a warm climate (average temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit) you'll want to select a warm-season variety, like St. Augustine or Bermuda. These warm-season grasses are more drought-resistant than their cool-season brethren and grow all spring and summer, going dormant (but not dying) in fall and winter.

If you live in a temperate or cool climate, you're apt to have better luck with a cool-season type of grass, like ryegrass or fescue. These grasses will remain alive even at sub-zero temperatures and flourish the following spring.

If you live in an area just on the border between warm-season and cool-season recommendations, your ultimate choice depends on the look you'd like to achieve. Warm-season grasses generally have a more uniform look, with flat, wide blades that grow in a distinct symmetrical pattern. Cool-season blends tend to "clump" more and have a slightly less uniform appearance on close inspection. However, cool-season grasses are more hardy than warm-season varieties, so if your area is right on the border, you may have more success planting a cool-season blend.  You can learn more by visiting https://californiasodcenter.com/.

Plant bulbs and perennials 

Although the grass seed you plant will provide a gorgeous green canvas, the real stars of your lawn and garden are the plants and flowers that flourish within. If you'd like to avoid re-planting every year, you may want to invest the time in planting bulbs or perennial flowers that will return each spring for years (or even decades).

Many landscape designers recommend staggering the bloom seasons of each plant in your garden so that at least one plant is always in its flowering prime. For example, daffodils and tulips thrive in early spring, while day lilies generally bloom in early summer, and tiger lilies begin flowering at the end of the summer. Chrysanthemums and other hardy flowers begin their peak in the fall and can even continue blooming during the winter.

By alternating complementary types and colors of blooms, you can ensure that your garden looks perfect throughout spring and summer, even tapering into the fall and winter.