Campus News

Lower landscape maintenance

To achieve a low-maintenance landscape, UGA’s Cooperative Extension has a few tips.

Start by choosing a hardy grass, like centipede. It requires less frequent mowing and fertilization than Bermuda or St. Augustine. The second step to a low-maintenance landscape is to plant a row of shrubs around the house or foundation. Finally, add a hedge to provide some privacy.

A popular project for some home gardeners is reducing grassy lawn areas and problem spots by incorporating natural areas under trees.

A poor stand of grass under trees is primarily caused by too much shade and root competition. Bermuda and centipede grass will not perform well in these shady areas. The easiest way to reduce this problem is by adding 3-4 inches of mulch such as pine straw, pine bark or hardwood bark under the trees. Although the area should appear natural, it should not detract from the overall appearance of the landscape.

Allow existing trees to influence the landscape design. Incorporate at least half of the drip-line area for large trees and all of this space for smaller trees. Choose mulch that cannot be easily disturbed by wind or erosion and that will define the area with a crisp boundary.