How would you like to cut back on your lawn mowing?
Just replace an area of your lawn with some drought-tolerant plants. I love the purple creeping phlox in the photo below (source: Houzz). A drought-tolerant garden can be colorful!
take out some of your grass and replace it with ground cover, a rock garden, low growing shrubs, and/or a patio. It will save money as you’ll have less area to fertilize and less gas used to mow it.
If you put in a patio area with stone, brick, or concrete pavers you’ll have a nice area to relax at much less cost and maintenance than a deck. Set some pots of annuals around the patio for color to add to your enjoyment. Potted pansies seem to tolerate a lot of weather conditions and come in great colors. Other annuals that give lots of color for the money are geraniums and petunias (love the ever-blooming type of petunias in hanging baskets.) You can even grow tomatoes and peppers in pots if you like & it’s fun to watch them grow. Try some cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes as well as peppers.
Try adding pocket gardens by grouping together plants with the same watering needs. Any little flaws a plant has won’t be as noticeable when gathered with others as it would if you had planted it by itself as an accent plant. Don’t put plants together with differing water requirements or you could have some that thrive and others that don’t. Choose the location with an eye to how much sunlight and heat that area gets and whether it’s a spot in your yard that is often extra wet or extra dry. You’ll be noticing those spots as you mow and can think of ways to use those spots better.
I love my pocket garden at our mailbox area. It’s all densely packed perennials that mostly bloom in succession. Every time I get the mail or go to the car I can give those plants what little attention they might need. Mainly that’s deadheading spent blooms which I tuck under the foliage of the vine around the mailbox post. All of these plants are drought tolerant & do well even next to the hot street. Rarely do I have to water this garden more than once or twice a summer. I started this garden years ago with just a small grouping around the mailbox. Each year I added a few more perennials, expanding the garden a bit more.
I like to take a walk in the neighborhood to see what is growing well in the soil and weather conditions common to our area–those are plants I want for our yard. I can also see if they are planted in shade or sun. That’s how I discovered which plants would do well in the mailbox pocket garden. It’s easy to strike up conversations with fellow gardeners on your walk. All gardeners like to share their secrets once you ask how they got something to grow so well.
If you have some hilly areas that are difficult to mow, consider putting in ground cover there. Your back will thank you every time you mow! You can see which ground covers do well in your area on that walk.
I love a perennial garden because the plants come back every year. They save money over buying new plants every year, and they save you from planting again every Spring. Most don’t need much watering unless you are in a drought. Siberian iris are very hardy and seem to live forever without any care. They are wonderful to hold the soil at the edge of a hill that tends to erode. Roses, on the other hand, are very time-consuming unless you get shrub roses. Even those get eaten by deer in our area. Daylilies are very hardy perennials and come in wonderful colors. The deer don’t bother our daylilies or iris.
You don’t need to tackle these projects all at once, but when you are out mowing that beautiful yard, start thinking about which areas you’d like to re-landscape. about you?
Have you found ways to cut back on lawn mowing? Please share with us in the comments below this post!
Check out my article on How to Garden with Much Less Water. It includes ways to keep hanging baskets watered most efficiently and DIY Earth Boxes.