Sustainable and Low-Maintenance Ideas for Sprucing up Your Backyard

A lot of work goes into making your backyard look great. However, not everyone has the time, money, or skills to devote to extensive landscaping. You don’t have to sacrifice how your backyard looks if you want to explore low-maintenance options. 

While no backyard is completely work-free, you can decrease how much time you spend working on your backyard. Spend more time enjoying it instead of being elbow deep in dirt and weeds. 

Not sure where to get started? Don’t worry. We’ve gathered our favorite low-maintenance and sustainable ideas for elevating your backyard. 


Get Rid of Your Lawn

Having a lawn is a lot of work. You have to spend time mowing it and sometimes reseeding it if parts of it start to die. Having little to no lawn equals less work. 

We don’t mean you have to eliminate your entire lawn. You might have kids or pets that enjoy a little bit of green space to run around in. Keep a small amount of lawn if you want to but do other types of landscaping in the rest of your backyard. 

You can put down a patio or other types of stonework. The best thing about hardscaping is that you don’t have to water or weed it. While you might have to sweep or scrub it from time to time, it’s way less work than mowing your lawn every week. 

But, what if you like the look of having a big lawn but don’t want the upkeep? Install artificial grass in your backyard. It doesn’t look cheap and cheesy like it did in the past. 

Modern astroturf is made from polymer or nylon. You can choose from a lot of different colors and heights. It actually feels and looks like real grass. You can also plant trees in it. 

Build a Deck 

A deck is a great place for you to spend time with your family, BBQing in the summer, or gathering around the fire pit in the winter. You might want to compare different decking materials to find one that works best for your needs and budget. For example, you might want a wood deck, but that can get pricey very quickly. Explore other, more sustainable options that are friendlier on your pocketbook. 

There are a lot of things you can do with your deck once it’s built. Create an outdoor kitchen space where you can cook meals outside. Decorate it with potted flowers and plants. Make comfortable seating and eating locations with comfy chairs and tables. 


Plant Low-Maintenance Flowers and Plants

Like with a lawn, plants, and flowers require a lot of work. You don’t want to spend hours each day watering your plants and pruning them. There are tons of low-maintenance plants you can explore that don’t need a lot of attention. 

The plants you choose depend a lot on your climate. You don’t want to plant something in the shade that needs a lot of sunlight to thrive. A little bit of work is required in the beginning but it’ll pay off in the end. 

Some of our favorite easy plants are:

  • Aloe vera
  • Succulents
  • Pothos
  • Bamboo
  • Cactus

A lot of these plants do well indoors too with little attention. You can take clippings of some of these plants and plant them in a small pot to bring inside. 

You’ll always want to research if the plants are resistant to or attract insects. You might think you’re purchasing a plant that’s easy to take care of, only for it to get eaten by aphids the next day. 

Check to see if the plant drops a lot of fruit, seed pods, or leaves. The plant shouldn’t make a mess. If it does, it’ll just mean more work for you. 

Another thing to look for is perennial plants and flowers. If they’re annual, that means they’ll die at the end of the season. Then you’re left with the tasks of getting rid of the dead plant and putting in a new one. While perennials bloom for a shorter amount of time, they’ll come back each year. 

Get Water Timers

It can be challenging to stay on top of your watering routine. Depending on how hot it gets where you live, you might have to water multiple times a day. And what happens when you go on vacation? You’ll have to count on a friendly neighbor to come over and take care of your plants. 

An irrigation system with watering timers takes care of that for you. You don’t even need an underground sprinkler system. You can automate your watering process by attaching a timer to your hose bib. Run different hoses and irrigation pipes to various parts of your yard, and they’ll do all of the heavy liftings for you. 

Use Mulch

Did you know that mulch is one of the best-kept secrets to low-maintenance gardening? We recommend applying mulch in a two to three-inch layer. The mulch will help stop weeds from growing, which means less weeding for you. It also slows down water evaporation in the soil, so you don’t have to water as much. 

You will need to apply a fresh layer of mulch as needed so you keep that ideal depth. People living in warm regions might have to apply mulch at least twice a year. Gardens in colder climates might need mulch annually. 

Have a Weeding Routine

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might have to take a few hours to weed. Weeding can be an annoying task. There are a few ways you can make it easier:

  • Weed parts of your backyard in small chunks
  • Invest in high-quality weeding tools
  • Weed after watering or rain

Create a Backyard Oasis With These Low-Maintenance Ideas

While everyone enjoys having a beautiful backyard, not everyone has the time to devote hours to take care of it. There are so many easy ways you can have a beautiful backyard without having to do a ton of work. 

These projects are simple and easy. Many of them can be completed over a long weekend and without needing to hire a professional team. Design a gorgeous backyard where you and your family enjoy spending your time.