Although some individuals can't wait for spring to make use of their green thumbs, the rest of the world dreads the increase in yard work. If you fall into the latter group, you'll want to make use of some techniques that are not only environmentally friendly, but also reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the yard, gardening and keeping up with the lawn. Less time spent on work means more time to relax and enjoy the view.
Reduce the amount of lawn so that you have less yard to care for. You could add a paved driveway, create a space for entertaining out of brick pavers, install a gazebo or remove the grass altogether and replace it with stones.
Plant low-maintenance perennial flowers and shrubs that are known to be drought tolerant and fairly resistant to pests. The Missouri Botanical Garden recommends Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, shellflower (Chelone lyonii), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 7, bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia), perennial in USDA zones 4 through 8 and hostas (Hosta spp.), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.
Reuse your grass clippings after mowing the lawn by leaving them on the lawn. "Consumer Report" magazine states that by you can reduce the amount of fertilizer your lawn needs by 30 percent, and this doesn't even include the time you'll save from not having to bag up and dispose of the grass clippings.
Install an irrigation system. Irrigation systems can be set on timers, eliminating the need for you to physically go out and water your lawn and plants each day.
Switch to a slow-release fertilizer. Typically, these fertilizers last for three to four months verses regular fertilizers that need to be administered once per month.
Mulch around your plants and trees. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, which means less watering is required. It also inhibits the growth of weeds so that you aren't spending time on your hands and knees pulling out the weeds every week.