Water scarcity is becoming an ever-common problem in South Africa, which means that gardens take a strain during the dry season. Many South Africans have already started to create water-wise gardens, but besides the lack of water needed to keep the garden looking lush, a low maintenance outdoor area is just as important.
Many homeowners do not have time to tend to their garden themselves - instead relying on maintenance services such as those provided by IWESCO. A low maintenance garden is cost-effective and can look good all year round with minimal help. These types of yards often thrive on annual rainfall and do not require mowing, pruning, weeding or fertilizing.
Benefits of a low maintenance garden
A natural, no-fuss garden will bring about the following advantages:
Less water needed for plant growth.
A more simple irrigation system can be used if needed.
Cost savings due to the lack of need for external maintenance services.
No need for petrol or electricity to run lawnmowers.
No need to dump garden refuse, trimmings or grass clippings.
No need for expensive fertilizers.
No need for pesticides as the bees and insects help with plant pollination.
How to create a low maintenance garden
The number one cost for any garden is the lawn - it requires a lot of water and care to keep it looking good. A lawn needs to be mowed, weeded and watered so often that it actually costs homeowners tens of thousands of rands every year. So, the first step to creating a low maintenance garden is to reduce the size of the lawn or remove it entirely.
While a nice lawn may be perfect for dogs and kids to play on, there are alternative ground covers, such as Dymondia margaretae, that can be planted instead. These require less care and less water. What’s more, these ground covers grow beautiful flowers that attract birds and butterflies.
Secondly, stick to indigenous plant species that thrive in your climate. This cuts the need for excess water and pruning. Local plants have adapted to the climate over millions of years and are more tolerant to drought, pests and fungi. There is no need for pesticides, fungicides or complicated irrigation systems when you plant indigenous trees and shrubs in your garden.
Consider planting trees that grow slowly. These require less water and do not need to be pruned or cut back as often. Slow-growing trees also tend to live longer and do not absorb all of the nutrients from the soil. Avoid planting hedges and shrubs that need regular maintenance. Similarly, steer clear of potted plants. The soil in the pots tends to dry up more quickly than the soil in your garden, so potted plants need irrigating more often.
Many homeowners want to add a water feature to their gardens, such as a fountain or overflowing pot. These systems require constant attention to ensure that the filters remain clean and that the pump works properly. They tend to break down or dry up, which can become a nuisance for busy homeowners.
Lastly, do not rake up leaves or turn your soil. Leaves are a natural mulch that keeps the soil moist and adds nutrients back into the ground as they decompose. Turning your soil simply exposes the healthy microorganisms and earthworms to the air, which kills them. It also dries out your soil and leads to a hard, compacted ground through which plants struggle to grow.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.