Take steps to minimize yard work.

How to Have Less Yard Work

by Alicia Bodine

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.

Items you will need

  • Asphalt
  • Brick pavers
  • Stones
  • Low-maintenance perennial flowers and shrubs
  • Lawnmower
  • Irrigation system
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • Stick to mowing the lawn only when your grass blades reach a height of 5 1/2 inches. This reduces the amount of time you spend mowing your grass.


  • Never start plants from seeds. This requires a great deal of labor, which defeats the purpose of cutting back on your yard work.
  • Never use invasive plants, or you'll end up having to spend time controlling them from spreading to areas of the yard where you'd rather they not be.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images