Myth of a No Maintenance Landscape

The myth of a no maintenance landscape seems to persist in many places. Any landscape altered by humans will probably need some sort of maintenance. Aggressive weeds will definitely need some attention.

Backyard that is just gravel and one shrub
A “no maintenance” yard would look somewhat like this. It would be less work but also less beauty and enjoyment than a landscape with plants. There are better ways to decrease maintenance than paving or putting gravel over your whole yard. Photo Credit:, Fashionrubionlinez Co

An unmaintained lawn can be a fire hazard and can cause weeds to migrate to neighboring yards. No one wants a ticked off neighbor!

Tips to Keeping a Landscape as Low Maintenance as Possible

  • Keep the design simple
  • Minimize turf area
  • Create naturalized areas using trees and shrub masses
  • Keep existing ‘wild’ areas such as woodlands and forests intact
  • Use water-wise or drought tolerant native plants to reduce water use
  • Use mulches to decrease evaporation from soil and lower annual weed populations
  • Create hardscaped areas
  • Use appropriately designed automatic irrigation systems
  • Know your plants! Avoid plant species that will take over planting beds such as heavily re-seeding plants and plants with creeping or rhizomatous root systems
Yard with patio, trees, grass, and flower beds.
A yard can have all desired elements, such as a patio, trees, grass, and beautiful flower beds, while still being low maintenance. Photo credit: Rio Rancho Xeriscaping


Additional Resources:


Missouri – Low Maintenance Landscaping


Florida: The Low Maintenance Landscape

Florida – Twenty-two Ideas for a Low-care, Low-cost Landscape