Show Notes: Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Take action in your yard with these low maintenance landscaping ideas!  If you want easy landscaping and more time, use these simple landscaping ideas to transform your yard and life!  Yes, it really makes a difference!

Low maintenance landscaping can help you save time and enjoy more time with your family.

Here are the best ways to have a low maintenance landscape.

  1. Get rid of weeds
  2. Best Organic fertilizer or natural fertilizer
  3. Low maintenance plants
  4. Good Garden edging
  5. Plant tightly
  1. Best ways to get rid of weeds with mulch

Mulch is an awesome natural weed killer if you use it right.  Here’s what to do:

  • Get the best mulch you can. Avoid dyed mulch because it is usually full of toxins that are bad for your plants
  • Mulch heavy. I mean like 4-6 inches.  Anything less will get weeds.  Anything greater will be a great natural weed killer by shading out the soil.
  • Mulch once a year and enjoy the rest of the year
  1. Plant tightly to get rid of weeds
  • Plan plants that will cover space completely when mature
  • The more shaded your soil, the fewer weeds will grow
  • Use ground cover plants to fill in gaps

Use easy plants to grow that don’t have disease problems or irrigation issues

  1. Best natural fertilizer for a healthy garden

The best natural fertilizer is compost.  Get a good source of compost and use it around your plants for healthy plants and healthy family.

  • Compost is a great organic fertilizer with tons of nutrients
  • Compost improves soil life, which reduces plant problems
  • Compost will not harm your family or pets like synthetic chemicals may
  1. How to find low maintenance landscaping plants

Here’s what to look for to select the best easy plants to grow in your garden:

  • Know your sun, soil, pH, and moisture for your space
    • Example, full sun, rocky clay, acidic, and drought-prone
  • Know your climate zone – found here
  • Plan online before going to the nursery!
  • Use easy perennial plants that come back each year
  • Search for plants that fit your conditions
    • Most websites have plant search tools
    • I recommend you check native plant options!
  • Find plants that fit your zone and conditions!
  • Episode 23
  1. Good Garden Edging

How to make good garden edging:

  • Select durable lawn edging and garden edging
  • Stone, concrete are most durable
  • Metal, durable plastic also options
  • Ensure proper depth and base preparation
  • Effort to install lawn edging and garden edging is well worth it long term!

Links for today’s episode:

this is the easy living yards podcast

I’m your host with sunburned armpits Ben

Hale let’s jump in and learn how to have

a healthy beautiful yard with less work

so you can enjoy more time doing what

you love what’s up and welcome to

episode 26 of the easy living yards

podcast today we are going to be talking

about low maintenance landscaping ideas

and today we’re really going to be

focusing on the some of the just

simplest things you can do in your

landscape with the most bang for your

buck and I’m not talking about just

money here but time as well so the

things that are most valuable to you in

your landscape that you can do right now

so you can save tons of time and also

money in your landscape and have an easy

low-maintenance landscape and before

that I just want to say today is

sweltering hot it’s crazy hot out and of

course being in my mobile podcast

high-tech recording studio aka my car

man it’s extra hot I tell you so I have

the windows down you might be here and

all the birds chattering in the

background which is awesome so you know

you can’t plan this stuff to to have

such good soundtrack to your podcast so

this is it folks this is live and you’re

hearing all the birds as well and I love

it so that’s right I do have sunburned

armpits right now it’s kind of crazy

and I don’t know if you heard that but

yes that is thunder in the background of

a a storm rolling in so hopefully we get

this podcast banged out before I have to

roll up these windows it’s gonna be a

little crazy but yeah of course it is

muggy as well so yeah I might have been

outside a little too long with my tender

armpits exposed and I’m feeling the burn

now so that’s summer for you folks you

know it could have been you know

sweating away working on some project

instead I was trying to enjoy a little

bit and

you know even when I’m trying to

transform our landscape it’s good to

take a break and just you know spend

some life and you know experience just

the beauty and joy of life and and to

just have some time to breathe a little

bit so I hope you guys are spending some

time in your summer to do the same and

and you know just taking a chance to

just soak up summer and to enjoy life

and so let’s get into it today and

figure out how you can free up more of

your time and more of your resources to

do what you love okay so low maintenance

landscaping what we’re talking about on

this show is about saving time so you

can do more of what you love with your

life spend more time with your family

spend more time with your loved ones

spend time working on your passion and

making a greater impact in this life and

this all ties into your landscaping

surprisingly and I’ve talked about this

in previous episodes but if you’re

joining me today first of all thank you

for taking the time to come by and to to

learn about how you can save time in

your landscape and so what low

maintenance landscaping can do is it can

help you save time and enjoy more time

with your family or more time with what

you love more time focusing on your

priorities in life and so that’s what

we’re talking about today it’s it’s much

greater than just you know kind of being

lazy and not one to do a whole lot of

work in new yard this really goes down

to the core of what’s your purpose in

life and what what does life and your

time in your life mean to you would you

rather be you know trimming your grass

every day and and and pulling weeds all

the time or would you rather spend that

time doing something more important more

impactful more meaningful and and

personally that’s what I would like to

do and I want to share all these tips

and tactics with you to do the same so

when I sit down and think about lo mein

its landscaping there are some certain

things you can do that have the greatest


and so to me here are the best ways to

have a low-maintenance landscape first

get rid of weeds second use the best

organic or natural fertilizer you can

use low maintenance plants use good

garden edging and plant tightly now

those five topic areas can really do a

whole lot to really change the way you

manage your landscape the way you look

at your landscape and the way you enjoy

your landscape and the way you enjoy

life okay so let’s get into the details

so there’s actually two really effective

ways of reducing weeds and getting rid

of weeds the first is with mulch and the

second is with plants and this might

seem a little crazy using plants to get

rid of weeds but it’s very effective and

so just think about your lawn for

example your lawn is basically a mono

crop of a bunch of grass plants so you

can keep weeds out of your lawn and it’s

usually pretty effective sometimes of

course you have weed problems in your

lawn itself but but just for the sake of

example here think about how many grass

plants you have in your lawn versus

other plants okay

so let’s tackle the first piece first

which is getting rid of weeds with mulch

so mulch is actually an awesome natural

weed killer and if you use it properly

it’s very effective now you might notice

I pointed out one thing there is that

it’s a natural weed killer for me

personally I loved saving time in my

landscape but I do not love doing it at

the expense of my health or my family’s

health or the health of anything that

comes across my landscape so that

includes my our pets and any sort of

creature critter that comes across our

landscape be it an insect or even a

fungus or hopefully it’s a good fungus

right or you know a bird and so if we

use all sorts of these synthetic

chemicals whether it be an herbicide and

insecticide they have widespread effects

and and so for me the natural process we

find the easiest natural process

possible and use that as effectively as

possible in our landscape without

compromising the health of ourselves and

those other things around us okay so

when I say a natural

killer mulch is basically a blanket of

weed prevention and so here’s what you

do to get the most out of your mulching

first get the best mulch you can so try

and avoid dyed mulch azure treated

mulches because usually it’s full of

synthetic chemicals or toxins that are

really black bad for your plants so a

lot of dyed mulches are coming from post

use materials such as wood pallets for

example and a lot of them have

preservation agents in them because when

they were used as pallets you know

companies don’t want their pallets to

just start decaying or having all sorts

of insect problems so they’re treated

with some sort of preservation agent to

prevent decay and so it fits the purpose

at the time but when these pallets are

repurposed for mulch and they’re

shredded up and died basically then you

have all these chemicals sitting on top

of your plants and it kills your soil

which is not a good thing and and

secondly it can really negatively affect

your plants as well so make sure you get

the best mulch you can by getting as

natural of a mulch you can so you want

to look for just straight-up shredded

wood product if possible or something

like you know pine needles or pine bark

and make sure of course that it’s

sustainably sourced you want to mulch

heav’nly that’s not mulch heavenly

although I guess you know that’d be

better than mulching poorly I guess know

what I mean here is mulch heavily heavy

heavy heavy heavy

muhuali alright that’s enough

and so by mulching heavily what you’re

doing is like four to six inches of

mulch because anything less will allow

weeds to start popping through so a lot

of weed seeds it’s crazy how much energy

they can harvest without starting to

reach light so just by digging out some

roots and and pulling up some moisture

and some nutrients from the soil a lot

of weed plants are highly capable at

shooting up about four to six inches of

growth before they even need sunlight to

start growing further and so by

mulching by at least four to six inches

heavy you prevent those plants from even

being able to reach the light and

therefore they wither out and die before

they reach sunlight likewise a lot of

weed seeds germinate just by any sort of

indication of light hitting the seeds

and so by putting a heavy layer of mulch

you prevent any light from ever

contacting those seeds and they likely

won’t ever germinate in the first place

okay so anything greater than that

anything greater than four to six inches

is also a great natural weed killer but

of course the more mulch you put on

generally speaking the higher the cost

goes up and also just the more effort to

put it down so if you have extra mulch

or you want to put down more much it

will definitely be more effective at

preventing weeds from coming up but I

would say the bare minimum is four


ideal is six inches or greater and that

seems like a lot right but once we get

our beds well established and by talking

about the next topic which is planting

tightly that will go a long way to

reducing your mulch needs long term ok

now there’s one caveat here that I want

to point out when I say mulch heavy make

sure you don’t mulch too heavy right at

the base of your plants so there’s this

cool like I don’t know to me it’s super

fascinating but to you it’s probably

kind of like lame that I spent too much

time talking about this unless you’re a

giant plant geek and biology geek like

me but anyway so for the sake of brevity

there’s this really cool transition that

happens in plants between the root zone

and the above-ground growth zone or the

stem right so where it transitions from

root to stem a lot of plants the stem

material is not meant to be in contact

with ground the way it’s designed in

nature the way a plant grows it figures

out where this zone is and then it’s set

for life and this is especially true

with shrubs and trees so your woody type

plants they’re really not great at you

know rooting out from the stem or

something like that and so once these

tissues are

if you cover up some of the base of the

stem it can actually be really negative

toward the health of the plant and it’s

funny because I’m actually looking at

several trees right now outside of my

high-tech recording studio and there’s

mulch built up like these little like

it’s kind of like a toilet plunger shape

or like some some people call them mulch

balk a knows where it’s like a hill that

goes up to the base of the tree

and it’s good to have thick mulch around

the base of the tree but not right up to

the trunk and so if you’re actually

covering the trunk of your tree or shrub

or plant all you know above where it’s

supposed to be it in contact with the

ground you can actually really harm that

that plant and with trees especially you

can actually kill them even by just

putting a few inches of mulch up at the

base of the tree so you got to make sure

what they call it is the root flesh so

if you look at an old mature tree you

see how it kind of like flares out right

where it starts to go into the roots and

the ground well you want to make sure

that space is able to basically to

breathe I guess is a way to put it so

you want to make sure you don’t build up

the mulch right at where the tree or the

plant contacts the ground but you want

to actually so you want to you know have

make sure you allow that space to not be

covered with mulch and then build it up

everywhere else okay all right hopefully

I made that clear enough because what

you’re trying to do is avoid killing you

know a very valuable plant hopefully and

this goes throughs welford all the way

down to your flowers some of your

flowers it’s not good to do this okay

alright so the last piece I want to make

a point I want to make about mulch is

that you want to mulch about once a year

and just basically let it go the rest of

the year the mulch does the job for the

rest of the year so once a year you’re

gonna go around check out your mulch to

areas make sure it still has enough

mulch so you might not even need to

replace very much but but let’s face it

you know the mulch close to the ground

it’s slowly degrading and decomposing

and and the plus side here is that it’s

slowly building your soil building soil

health and and by building your soil

what you’re doing is you’re also

boosting your plant health so that’s

really important actually and it’s

really a huge side benefit of using

much as a weed barrier so by getting

read rid of weeds using mulch instead of

sprays or whatever your you’re also

increasing the health of your plants

long term okay so you want to check how

thick your mulch is you might just need

to add a little bit here and there but

just all you have to do is check it once

a year and that’s it and that’s awesome

right so you think of all the time you

get back from having to spray and

prevent weeds that you would normally

have to do without the mulch there

okay so mulch use mulch okay that’s the

point next piece of getting rid of weeds

is plant tightly so when you’re planning

a garden or if you already have a garden

think about how much gap space you have

okay and so if you are planning a garden

make sure you plan it where the plants

will cover the space completely

once they’re mature okay and so you know

it with certain plants that might take

five ten years before they’re mature

right so you might have some guests

early on but as long as you plan it to

where that’s that plant can expand to

fill the space eventually it will shade

out and prevent weeds from growing and

so by planting tightly and densely

without a bunch of spaces in between

your mature plants you’re preventing

weeds just by how you’ve designed your

garden and so once it matures it’s a

very little work that you have to do

because the plants not only are they

happy and they have enough space to grow

but on the flip side they’re also happy

enough to prevent weeds from growing in

that space and so you can just sit back

and relax and enjoy your landscape which

is awesome and so how do you do this

basically you check out the mature size

of your plant when you’re planning your

garden or when you’re remodeling your

garden right those so this is something

if you have a garden that has tons of

gaps right now you can go back and you

can plan by adding more plants to fill

in the space or adding some ground cover

material or whatever and and by doing so

you’re shading out your soil so the more

shaded your soil is the fewer weeds will

grow and of course to fill in those gaps

you can use anything from a shrub

to even a tree you know sometimes trees

you know they provide low branching

patterns that can shade out the soil or

you can use herbaceous perennials of

some sort so your perennial flowers you

can use so just putting in like easy

low-maintenance perennial plants can

really go a long way to shading out your

soil and preventing weeds from growing

or you can use ground cover so sprawling

ground cover plants as well can be

really effective at preventing weeds

from growing okay so so basically you

can use mulch to get rid of weeds or you

can just plant tightly to get rid of

weeds too and those are both great

low-maintenance ways to get rid of weeds


okay so now we’re gonna talk about my

favorite natural fertilizer for a

healthy garden so if you need to boost

the fertility of your garden for one I

would really question if you need to

redesign your garden or you know kind of

transition it to a lower maintenance

garden and what do I mean here well it’s

a lot easier to plan a garden around the

type of soil you have present as opposed

to trying to amend the soil to change it

to fit the plants who want to put there

so if you’re looking to have a low

maintenance landscape it’s really much

easier if you select the right plants to

fit your space so if you have very

little topsoil for example you and maybe

you have just let’s say a clay soil

right so a clay soil that’s pretty

compacted with very little topsoil well

selecting the right plants that can grow

in those low nutrient conditions that

are highly compacted there are a lot of

plants that fit every type of soil and

so finding the right plants that fit

that soil and can grow and thrive in

that condition is a lot easier than

trying to change your soil to fit you

know to a plant you want there okay so

now that I’ve said that piece sometimes

it’s just really nice to to boost the

fertility of your landscape a little bit

especially upon establishment it’ll help

your plants establish better and it’ll

just kind of give it a jump start so so

let’s say you do want to

fertilize your soil with something or

fertilize your landscape so for me

one of the best natural fertilizers out

there is compost and it’s also very

inexpensive very easy to use and it’s

very I guess it’s it’s not harmful and

so it’s relatively safe to use around

pets around children and that’s not the

same to be said about a lot of other

types of fertilizers even some of your

organic fertilizers not always the

safest because they’re more concentrated

and they can be a little bit dangerous

sometimes to use so compost is one of

the safest natural fertilizers you can

get your hands on and it’s relatively

easy to find or to make yourself and and

it has a very high benefit for your soil

so it boosts the soil life so it boosts

a lot of you know adds a lot of

microorganisms to your soil which is

really important for plant health and it

also just adds a lot of nutrients that

are available to your plants that your

plants can kind of just soak up and

start using and and not just in a high

dose all at once but over time so it’s

kind of like this slow release kind of

thing that allows your plants to have

sustained food for a long period of time

so that’s why I love compost so when it

comes to using composts get a good

source of compost and use it around your

plants for for both both having a

healthy plants like I said but also

keeping your family healthy right and

that’s important and so it’s a great

organic fertilizer as I said with tons

of nutrients it improves your soil life

reduces plant problems and in addition

it doesn’t harm your family or your pets

when you use it like a lot of synthetic

chemicals might do so if you want to

learn how to specifically use compost

effectively in your landscape check out

episode 14 where I talk all about

compost and its benefits and why it’s


and you can just check out episode 14 so

I’ll have a link in the show notes for

that okay enough about compost now

let’s talk about something really

important especially because we talked

about planting tightly already and that

is how to find low maintenance

landscaping plants so having the right

plant for your landscape is incredibly

important if we want to have a low

maintenance landscape where we can just

kind of set it let it go and do its

thing have a beautiful landscape and

spend more time doing what we love okay

so here’s how to look for and to select

the best easy plants to grow in your

garden so first know your Sun your soil

your pH and moisture for your space I

know it kind of run through this quickly

and and that’s because I’m going to

share a resource for you later on okay

so an example of this is knowing that

for my landscape I have full Sun rocky

clay it’s acidic and drought prone now

that’s not actually true for my

landscape but I just want to give you an

example okay so find that out what is it

for your landscape and specifically your

garden space because your soil in your

front yard might be different than the

soil in the back corner of your yard


know your climate zone and I’ll have a

link in the show notes where you know

what zone you’re growing in because the

zone you grow in basically tells you how

cold it gets in the winter most of the

time and what plants can survive that

condition so next plan online so go

online research the plants you’re

looking for before you go to the nursery

and set foot in the nursery because

really understanding the the conditions

of the plant that it needs to grow best

is more important than what it looks

like until you’re crystal clear on what

growing conditions you have and what

plants fit those growing conditions so

once you kind of narrow that down then

you can start thinking about beauty and

say okay what plants grow well in this

condition and fit the needs of of my

aesthetic desires okay so next use easy

perennial plants that come back each

year so there are annual plants that you

have to plant each year and then they

die over the dormant season so this

could be the winter or the dry season or


and then they you have to replant them

and that’s not too great so finding the

right perennial plants so finding easy

perennial plants that grow well in your

space are really important to having a

low-maintenance landscape search for

plants that fit your conditions that

goes back to knowing the conditions you

have in your space and and the great

thing is that most websites have awesome


search tools that are now available free

plant search tools and I recommend for

sure that you check native options for

your space there’s a lot more native

plants that are available these days as

beautiful options for your landscape so

many native plants can really be just a

beautiful addition to your landscape and

likewise they also Express the character

of your region which is really cool to

that you have your own regional

character that somewhere else may not

have so so plants native to say southern

Florida can really express the the place

of southern Florida and if I were to

plant all those things here in southern

Ohio for one they would kind of look out

a place and for two they’d be a lot of

work most likely and so expressing the

bio region that you live in is is a

really valuable thing and can also lead

to a very low maintenance landscape okay

so the last piece I want to say here is

I recorded a whole episode on finding

and selecting low maintenance plants and

so check out episode 23 for low

maintenance plant ideas and really drill

down on how to get the best plants for

your space ok the last piece I want to

say now is about good garden edging most

times we get these really bad weed

problems right at the edges of a

transition so this could be at the edge

between a garden bed and your lawn for

example and so in those transition

spaces it’s important to have good

durable edging it can go a long way to

reducing work a lot less time using a

weed eater to trim around things and a

lot less time using weed chemicals to to

kill weeds okay so when it comes to good

garden edging make sure you select

durable lawn edging and garden edging

and this is stuff made out of stone and

concrete are the most durable you can

also find metal and durable plastic

options as well so the plastic edging

there’s a huge variety of plastic edging

make sure you get durable UV resistant

edging if you’re going with plastic and

and make sure you check as well you know

the Internet is such a great resource

you can check how durable how well

reviewed it is online so check if you’re

thinking about plastic for sure because

there’s some really bad plastic stuff

out there for one you know it’s

something that you take a lot of time

putting this stuff in installing it and

then maybe a year later you’re already

having problems with it so make sure you

get a good durable edging and if you’re

going with plastic make sure you

research it really well to make sure it

really is durable and so check online

reviews for that read about it make sure

it’s the right stuff okay alright so

when it comes to edging make sure you

ensure the proper depth and and base

preparation so so make sure you get

edging that doesn’t just go down you

know an inch or two into the ground but

really something that you install and do

it properly to prevent it from heaving

up in frosty conditions over the winter

and and that sort of thing and that is

what I mean by base preparation as well

so if you’re laying down say a stone or

masonry edging they’re very beautiful

and they can be incredibly durable but

you got to make sure you prepare the

base right so make sure you maybe dig

down a little bit deeper and put down a

gravel underlayment that can help

drainage as well as prevent frost

heaving which is really important so

when it comes to this stuff check online

for a ton of awesome resources on

YouTube for example about laying down

stone edging or masonry edging and just

edging in general there’s a ton of great

video resources out there that you can

find okay now the last thing I want to

say about edging here is that the effort

to install lawn edging or garden edging

is well worth it long term because this

reduces your maintenance needs and of

course the thing

here is selecting the right edging that

doesn’t have weed problems that doesn’t

have maintenance issues and that doesn’t

break down quickly so it’ll last you a

long time okay so that’s basically what

I’ve got today so just to cap it again

is getting rid of weeds using heavy

mulch and planting tightly using the

best organic fertilizer and naturally

natural fertilizer out there which is

compost using low-maintenance plants for

your landscape and using good quality

garden edging all of these things go a

really long way towards making sure you

have a low-maintenance landscape that

helps you save time and enjoy more time

with your family now make sure you check

out the show notes guys for the links I

talked about in the previous episodes as

well as your USDA zone and figuring that

out if you have any questions make sure

you head on over to easy living yards

comm slash pod and right at the top of

the page there you’ll see a link to

contact me with any questions you might

have and you can also get featured on

the show if you like now this stuff

seems just overwhelming to you or you

need a little help that’s cool because I

offer consultation you could check it

out at easy living yards calm slash

consulting to see the options there you

can get in touch with me work one-on-one

and we can figure out your problems with

your landscape specifically and help you

take action to save time in your life

and spend more time with your family and

what’s important with that guys thanks

for tuning in make sure you live with

passion and make tomorrow better than