Low-Maintenance Landscaping for Large Yards {PRO Tips}

Low-Maintenance Landscaping for Large Yards

We talk a lot about how to maximize space in small yards, but there are also homeowners who have the opposite challenge: finding tips for low-maintenance landscaping for large yards. While more space is always nice, it can feel pretty overwhelming when you are looking at a large area with no landscaping or landscaping that needs to be replaced. This can be quite the home improvement project and — even if you have hired a professional landscaper to assist you — you might not know what you want or where to start.

Folks with acreage or large backyards sometimes install a swimming pool, a vineyard, an orchard, or an expansive, natural grass lawn to cover the area. If they have enough space, some homeowners choose to install a combination of these features. However, not everyone is interested in taking on the list of chores that comes with maintaining any of these options.

If you do not want to spend hours every week taking care of your landscaping or pay someone to do it for you, you are much better off choosing low-maintenance landscaping for large yards. Opting for easy-care landscaping features will allow you to beautify your yard and create usable spaces while also having more time to enjoy these outdoor living areas.

Artificial Grass and Paving Stones

8 Tips for Low-Maintenance Landscaping for Large Yards

1. Install a large patio.

This may be one of the most expensive options on this list, but it is also one of the easiest ways to almost instantly have an attractive, low-maintenance space that you can use for anything from relaxing with your family to entertaining large groups of people.

For the greatest longevity and durability, consider installing a paving stone patio. One of the many benefits of going with this option for a large area is that you can more easily make repairs if damage occurs. For example, if a concrete patio gets a small crack or stain, you may be able to repair just the area and cross your fingers that the color will match. However, if it is a large crack or particularly stubborn stain, you will most likely need to replace the entire slab. If you replace only the damaged slab, it is nearly impossible to get the new concrete to match the older slabs that are still intact.

If you have stamped concrete, which is a much more attractive option, these repairs are even more expensive. If you choose a paving stone patio and a paving stone happens to crack or become stained, your professional installer can essentially unzip the pavers to replace only the paving stone that is damaged.

Aside from sweeping or spraying down your patio to remove dust and debris, patios are a low-maintenance landscaping option that can be used to cover a large area easily.

2. Install multiple decks and patios.

Another option is to install multiple patios and decks to cover the area, create functional spaces and enhance visual appeal. If you think you might want to use various materials to keep things interesting, such as a wood deck, a river rock patio and a paving stone patio, we recommend enlisting the assistance of a professional landscape designer to help you ensure a satisfactory end result. We love the idea of using different materials to create a unique look, but mixing various materials can quickly create a hodge-podge look without a carefully thought out plan.

Low Maintenance Landscaping

3. Create multiple outdoor living areas.

Creating multiple outdoor living areas to cover a large area may or may not include one or more patios or decks. You will likely want to have at least some solid ground for entertaining, so a patio is a good idea, but you can mix this with gravel areas, artificial turf areas and garden areas to create separate spaces.

This option essentially entails creating various outdoor rooms or spaces that can serve different purposes. This may include more intimate, cozy areas surrounded by a privacy hedge to use as a reading nook or a spot for smaller groups to congregate. It may also include a large, open area where you can entertain bigger groups or have large dinner parties.

You could create a separate outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen and outdoor dining room, or you could install a fire pit area, a putting green, a meditation deck and an outdoor movie theater.

4. Install an artificial grass lawn.

If you love the idea of a huge, lush lawn that covers your entire yard but do not want the headaches, maintenance tasks and higher water bill that come along with natural grass, synthetic turf might be your best choice.

This is a fast, easy way to cover a large area with a low-maintenance landscaping feature that requires none of the watering, mowing, edging, fertilizing, aerating or weeding that comes with natural grass. While you get to enjoy an inviting, kid- and dog-friendly lawn that requires very little maintenance, you will not have to worry about brown spots, wet blades of grass being tracked into your home or mud after it rains.

Artificial grass lends itself well to multiple purposes and can withstand heavy traffic, so you can easily transform your yard into a field for impromptu soccer games, a play area for children or pets, an outdoor entertaining area, or simply an expansive lawn that you can admire from your patio while enjoying your morning coffee.

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5. Cover the area with gravel, wood chips or bark.

In most cases, this will be the lowest-cost option on this list. So if you are on a tighter budget and need low-maintenance landscaping for large yards, you might want to consider gravel, wood chips or bark. Any of these options provides an easy way to quickly cover large areas of bare earth and enhance the visual appeal of your yard.

While they may not provide the same type of entertaining surface as a deck or patio, you can add picnic tables or patio furniture to areas with gravel, wood chips or bark to create functional outdoor living areas.

7. Opt for xeriscaping.

When some folks think of xeriscaping, they envision barren, desert-like landscapes void of color or inviting textures. In reality, drought-tolerant landscape design can include vibrant colors, multiple layers of texture, and truly attractive features that are warm and welcoming.

You might consider including a rock garden or walking path, or interspersing xeriscaping between patios and outdoor living areas.

Large Paving Stone Patio

8. Lay out a labyrinth.

For this option you can rely on your inner inspiration to come up with a labyrinth design or you can hire a landscape designer who specializes in these unique landscaping features.

Labyrinths have been used since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians and could date back considerably further. Walking a labyrinth is most often considered a meditative or spiritual practice, but modern labyrinths are sometimes simply used as a way to relax or focus your mind.

There are essentially two types of labyrinths to consider. The first is the maze labyrinth, which is laid out much like the hedge mazes you have seen in Europe or the corn mazes that are popular around Halloween. Of course, a low-maintenance labyrinth has no hedges, but it is laid out in a way that causes the visitor to make directional choices and to, perhaps, double back in search of another route.

There is also the meandering labyrinth, which is the type of labyrinth most of us are more used to seeing. These labyrinths may be laid out using artificial grass, natural grass, stepping stones surrounded by gravel, or a paving stone walkway.

A labyrinth can be as simple or intricate as you choose, but it will always ultimately lead to a set point in the center. It can also be as small or as large as you choose, which makes this a creative, visually interesting option for covering a large space.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping: Further Reading