Tips for Creating a Beautiful and Low-maintenance Garden in Illinois

A beautiful garden can be a source of joy and relaxation but also require much time and effort to maintain. If you’re short on time or want to enjoy your garden with minimal maintenance, there are a few things you can do to create a low-maintenance garden that still looks beautiful in Illinois.

Choose the Right Plants

When selecting plants, it is essential to consider well-suited plants to the Illinois climate and soil type. Gardening experts recommend using native plants as much as possible because they are adapted to the local conditions and require minimal care. However, it is crucial to keep in mind the moisture level in the area, as uncharacteristically, wet conditions can harm drought-tolerant plants. In such cases, looking for plants that can live with wet roots is best. Additionally, incorporating vegetables and herbs in the landscape adds another use to your garden and is a natural way to deter critters from the bed.


Know the Amount of Sunlight you Have

Sunlight is essential for the plants you choose; some need a full day while others will get cooked if left in the sun all day. To help figure out how much sun you are getting, take pictures with timestamps throughout the day. These pictures will give you a rough idea of how much sun gets to your perspective garden.

Use Mulch

Mulching is an excellent way to retain soil moisture, prevent weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. However, too much mulch can suffocate the plants and add unnecessary carbon to the soil. It is best to apply a moderate layer of mulch around the plants, considering the type of mulch suitable for the Illinois climate. A mulch made from pine needles tree bark or wood chips may be a good choice for an Illinois garden.

Create a Watering Schedule

Creating a watering schedule is crucial to maintaining a low-maintenance garden in Illinois. UnderOverwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by gardeners. To avoid under/overwatering, gardeners should water deeply but less frequently to encourage strong root growth and reduce the risk of disease. During the heat of the summer months, it is best to water the plants in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation and ensure the plants get enough water.

Incorporate Ground Covers

Ground covers are plants that grow low to the ground and spread quickly, creating a dense carpet of foliage. Ground covers are a great way to fill in bare spots in your garden and suppress weeds. Using ground covers such as vinca, pachysandra, or ajuga in your garden can provide additional beauty and low maintenance.

Incorporate Hardscapes

Hardscapes, such as pavers, gravel, or stone, can add interest and texture to your garden while reducing maintenance. However, it is essential to plan and finalize the landscaping before incorporating hardscapes, as they are a permanent feature. Moving rocks or other hardscapes repeatedly can be tiring and frustrating.

In conclusion, creating a beautiful and low-maintenance garden in Illinois requires careful selection of plants that can thrive in the local climate and soil conditions, moderate use of mulch, a watering schedule that takes into account the needs of your plants and the weather conditions, incorporating ground covers, and incorporating hardscapes thoughtfully. By following these tips, you can enjoy a garden that looks great without requiring a lot of time and effort to maintain.

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