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Care Free Landscapes
Gardeners can create beautiful landscapes and keep garden chores manageable.
Start by choosing plants that fit the site. Be choosy. Avoid plants that drop fruits and seeds and ones that are prone to disease and insect problems.
Generally, easy care plants will require less deadheading, pruning, and staking. They will also be disease, pest, and drought resistant. Examples would include Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm,’ Russian sage, Coreopsis, daylilies, and Stephanandra. Award winners like the All-American Selections and All-America Rose Selections are generally trouble-free and reliable.
Garden style plays a vital role in garden routines. A naturalistic design works best. For shady areas, create informal woodland beds with shade-loving, drought tolerant ferns and natives.
Raised beds are easier to work and to weed. Choose rot-resistant woods, such as black locust or cedar. Or use the newer, composite materials made from recycled plastics and/or wood by-products.
Of the herbaceous plants, annuals can be regarded as high maintenance. I prefer permanent plantings of trees and perennials that keep garden chores to a minimum.
Along with annuals, lawns are labor intensive. The average lawn requires 10,000 gallons of water every summer. Replace some of the lawn area with drought resistant, easy care plants, such as ground covers and wildflower mixes.
Allowing sufficient space for each plant can reduce the need for future upkeep. This is especially true when placing shrubs or ground covers alongside walkways.
Every landscape has its little problem areas that are poorly suited for most plants. It is too dry under the eaves of most houses for plants to live. Gravel beds are a carefree option.
Streamline the seed-starting procedure for the hardy, more cold tolerant annuals and perennials. Fill a portable cold frame with soilless potting mix. Then, plant the seeds directly in the mix. After hardening the plants off, transplant them from the cold frame directly to the garden.
Being well organized makes garden routines easier. I keep all my tools, gloves, and supplies in a plastic bucket.
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