Do you want to spend more time enjoying your garden and less time working in it?
Living in the Mornington Peninsula means waking up to some of Victoria’s best beaches and enjoying the coastal lifestyle. But with coastal conditions comes the challenge of keeping a garden healthy and nourished.
For garden lovers and DIY green thumbs, there is a way to make your outdoor space work for you (and not the other way around).
Whether you’re looking to create a low maintenance garden to attract people to your Mornington Peninsula Airbnb or you want to beautify your own property, here are 10 simple tips for a low maintenance garden.
1. Ditch the lawn
There’s no landscaping law that says you need a lawn to enjoy a beautiful outdoor space. A lush green lawn looks stunning, but comes with time, labour and lawn care costs.
For a low maintenance garden, consider replacing grass with hard surfaces that are easy to maintain and clean, without the need for ongoing costs like mulching, fertilizing, mowing and weeding. Low-maintenance surfaces include:
- - Natural stone paving
- - Decking
- - Decorative toppings and screenings
- - Artificial turf
- - Larger/more creative garden beds
Hard surfaces look stunning and can complement the decor of your Mornington Peninsula home to provide low maintenance landscaping with a difference.
2. Speak to the experts
Low maintenance landscaping is a skill. You can’t plant a few seeds or throw up a retaining wall and expect your garden to take care of itself. If you want to save time, speaking to a local garden and landscape design team can unlock the potential of your outdoor space without turning your yard into a chore.
Plants that don’t need endless attention, a lawn that doesn’t need expensive products, and a space that grows with you. A landscape designer will work with you to understand the goals of your space and design a garden to suit your budget.
3. Add mulch
Mulch is an all-purpose addition to your outdoor space that guarantees you save time and money. Adding mulch promotes a healthy garden as mulch breaks down and fertilises your plants. By keeping moisture in the ground, your mulch also acts as an anti-weed barrier, encouraging growth of the plants you love and blocking the growth of pesky weeds you hate.
Adding mulch means you don’t spend hours each weekend weeding, and keeps your favourite plants safe and nourished. Even better, mulch doesn’t require watering or mowing and is an inexpensive addition that will only need occasional replenishing - but almost never replacing.
4. Clean up your yard
Taking control of your yard is about doing less, not more
Enter the Pomodoro Technique. This time-management technique breaks work into small, manageable intervals that make you more productive. Working in short weekly intervals can help you stay on top of your yard’s health without letting things spiral out of control.
Spend 10 minutes, once a week, to give your yard a quick reset. This includes:
- - Check plant health
- - Pull or spray weeds
- - Water plants as needed
- - Prune trees as needed
Short bursts of attention will ensure nothing gets so out of hand it requires hours, days or weeks of maintenance down the track.
5. Add colour in pots
Pot plants - also known as ‘container gardening’ - are a low maintenance hack perfect for any outdoor space. By using pots you eliminate weeding, slash the need for heavy duty gardening tools, and minimise watering time. Win-win-win
At the same time you unlock plenty of benefits that come with pot plants, including the flexibility to arrange plants to suit the season (or your tastes) and added accessibility. Pot plants can be used to teach children about gardening, or to keep older Victorians with mobility issues connected to their outdoor space.
Looking to pair your plants with the seasons? Some plants, like spring bulbs and flowering annuals, can add colour to your yard to create an exciting colour scheme all year round.
6. Create liveable outdoor spaces
The more grass you have, the more grass you have to mow. This logic also applies to any living element of your outdoor space, with care required for plants and flowers. By transforming your outdoor space into a liveable space, you reduce the amount of organic material to care for without losing any quality of life.
Low maintenance outdoor spaces might include additional decking, a new BBQ area, built-in stone seats, or a stylish fire pit. These durable spaces last forever, require little no maintenance, and keep your home the social hub of the neighbourhood.
Looking to enjoy your outdoor space all year round? Don’t forget to weatherproof your outdoor entertaining area.
7. Experiment with climbing plantsClimbing plants are the multi-purpose superstars of a low maintenance outdoor space.
Growing easily and resilient to extreme conditions, climbing plants can handle the cool mornings of a Mornington Peninsula winter as well as the sweltering summers. With very little trimming required, climbing plants can add colour to walls or create natural privacy screens to protect your space.
Resilient climbing plants include:
- - Ivy
- - Wisteria
- - Bougainvillea
- - Star leaf jasmine
8. Celebrate your favourite plant
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This applies to low maintenance outdoor spaces in the form of a simple time-saving trick - pick one plant variety that will thrive in your garden (and that you enjoy looking at) then let it become your go-to plant.
Letting one type of plant dominate your space creates a sleek, uniform look that turns heads. Even better, there’s less yard work needed to maintain and nourish multiple varieties. This simple trick creates a strong visual effect without adding extra chores to your weekend to-do list.
Super simple. Super effective.
9. Retain mature trees
Low maintenance spaces come from working smarter, not harder. When it comes to trees, it’s better to keep and nurture well-established trees instead of planting new ones.
Planting new trees is exciting, but like caring for any newborn, time-consuming. As trees can take years to become established, you can end up having to water young trees every few days with time-consuming mulching and fertilising required to maintain their health.
In contrast, established trees already look great and frame your outdoor space with minimal care needed. By keeping existing trees you’ll be keeping shade, aesthetic appeal and size without sacrificing time or results.
10. Seal pavers and oil decks
Living in the Mornington Peninsula means enjoying the changing weather conditions all year round. But the elements put pressure on your outdoor surfaces with pavers loosening and decks warping and rotting over time.
By applying some simple preventative protection methods you can stop the harsh sun and driving rain from damaging your surfaces.
Benefits of sealing your pavers:
- - Makes cleaning faster and easier
- - Helps prevent stains
- - Protection from the elements (including UV rays)
Oiling your deck has similar benefits, with oil penetrating into the pores of wood and protecting from water damage. This ensures your space always looks inviting when it’s time to bring friends or family over, and cuts back on the need for maintenance which is time consuming and expensive.
Low maintenance landscaping made easy
>Life can be busy. But you don’t have to sacrifice a beautiful outdoor space just because you don’t have spare hours to be working in the yard.
There’s no such thing as a maintenance free garden, but by following some simple time-saving tips you can minimise your work and still enjoy a beautiful, productive space.
Lean on the expertise of professional landscape designers, learn to get the most out of your plants, and you’ll soon enjoy a garden that starts to take care of itself.