Enjoying your garden without spending hours mowing, weeding or pruning is a bit of a gardener's holy grail. However, even if the expression makes you dream, you have to be realistic: the maintenance free garden is illusory.
The plant world lives, dies and is constantly reborn and nevertheless requires certain attentions. However, by adopting a few techniques and tips, it is quite possible to enjoy your green corner without spending hours of work there.
Create a maintenance-free lawn (or almost)
The first thing we think of when talking about a garden is often the grass... and the mowing that goes with. In dry weather, we can expect a mowing every 2 or even 3 weeks. But it becomes weekly if the weather alternates between rain and sun. However, there are some solutions that allow reduce the workload.
When creating, opt for a selection of low-growing seeds
There are many grass seed mixtures on the market: against trampling, resistant to drought, supporting The shadow, etc. Note that there are also types of grass whose particularity is push slowly. So, in the trade, if possible look for mixtures containing one or more varieties such as:
- quackgrass (Cynodon dactylon) ;
- the Keoleria macrantha;
- the Zoysia tenuifolia;
- semi-trailing red fescue (Festuca rubra trychophylla).
It is also possible to opt for more original solutions.
- The microtrover: it is often found mixed with grass seeds in the trade. Unlike its large-leaved counterpart, it is less intrusive and blooms less. However, it fixes the nitrogen in the air well to return it to the soil where it also benefits grasses. In addition, it supports clear clippings.
- Sagina (Sagina pilifera): pretty little plant upholstery, she slowly growing and can replace traditional turf. Its only drawback is that it prefers shaded situations.
Fall for the flowery meadow
Also called "Japanese turf", this is a seed mix of grass and seeds of annual flowers for the majority. This solution is very interesting for its many advantages :
- one mowing or mowing per year;
- preservation of fauna and flora;
- the flowers reseed themselves from one year to the next.
Adopt a robotic lawn mower
Long overpriced, robot mowers are gradually becoming more democratic and are starting to show prices that are increasingly close to that of more “classic” mowers. With this technology which continues to improve, a simple programming saves you hours of mowing.
Select maintenance free plants
Pruning, pinching, cutting back the tuft, collecting dead leaves, etc., there is always work in a garden when placing plants in it. However, by choosing the right species and varieties of plants, you can reduce horticultural interventions.
There are many species of perennials (deciduous or evergreen) that bring pretty touches of color to a garden, without requiring you to take permanent care: Ophiopogon, primrose auricle, saxifrage, hosta, heuchera, iris, etc.
They may be the best plants for a maintenance-free garden. Indeed, once planted, the only maintenance is to cut them back in early spring. However, be careful with certain species such as Stipa tenuifolia which tend to reseed easily. Instead, prefer grasses such as blue fescue, Carex hachijoensis, the Pennisetum, etc.
When they are well chosen depending on their location and whether they can grow freely, shrubs have their place in a maintenance free garden. However, in order to limit the drudgery of collecting leaves, prefer evergreen species to their deciduous counterparts.
Straw as much as possible
Whether original vegetable (pine bark, flax, coconut, etc.) or mineral (slate, clay balls, gravel, etc.), apply a mulch to the surface of your massive or borders is a great solution in your quest for the maintenance free garden. Not only does the use of mulch make it possible to abolish (or almost) the weeding, but it also limits waterings by keeping the soil moist. In addition, by decomposing, plant mulch supplies the soil with organic matter. Plants can thus use it to grow.
Smart tip: To be really effective, a layer of mulch must be at least 3 to 5 cm long.
Minerals: the ideal ally for a maintenance-free garden
With their concept of a dry garden, the Japanese got it right: you don't have to collect plants to get a pretty garden.
Using the same techniques as for creating a flower bed, it is quite possible to create an aesthetic and restful mineral landscape.
You can thus:
- vary the shapes, textures and colors of gravel or pebbles;
- use high stones or even rocks to add volume;
- draw patterns to brighten up an area that is too large.
Despite everything, nothing prevents you from bringing touches of greenery by planting a few plants.
It may interest you :
- How to arrange a garden with gravel and pebbles?
If you want a garden without maintenance or almost, you now have all the keys in hand to make it happen. Do not hesitate to show your creations in comments or on the forum.