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9 Ways to Create a Low Maintaince Yard for Your Rental Property

low maintenance lawn
Renters like a clean, low-maintenance yard

By Gina Thompson

Creating a low-maintenance yard for your rental property is a great way to minimize the money
and time you spend on upkeep. Plus, attractive outdoor spaces are a great way to increase your
home property values and attract renters in Washington, D.C.

Low Maintenace Yards

Low maintenance yards
There are many ways to make your yard attractive and low-maintenance

Before you get started, here are some things you should know about low-maintenance yards:

● A well-designed and energy-efficient yard attracts new renters

Low maintenance doesn’t have to mean simple. A Virginia Tech multi-state study found
that too simple yards decreased property value.
● Improper watering habits can lead to wasting an excessive amount of water.
● The U.S. Department of Energy says trees help households save up to 25% of energy
● Low-maintenance yards are convenient for long-term tenants with no green
thumb or time to care for a lawn.

Now that you know the benefits of creating a low-maintenance yard for your rental property, let’s
look at 9 ways to do this.

Choose Eco-Friendly Grass Alternatives.

The first step when designing a low-maintenance yard is choosing eco-friendly grass
alternatives. Many homeowners in the DMV use native plants to create their lawns, as these
plants are found naturally in the environment, and you don’t need to water them as frequently.
One ground cover choice native to the area is the Creeping Phlox. Also known as moss phlox,
this plant blooms pink in the spring. It’s also a thick plant, which helps with weed suppression
and erosion control.

Avoid Demanding Plants

Avoid using high-maintenance or invasive plants. While beautiful or tropical, those plants may
not be suitable for the DMV climate. Plants requiring consistent pruning or watering will waste your time and money. They are also more likely to die without proper care.

Go Native in Your Garden

Stick to native plants when planning the landscape, as these plants help maintain the natural
ecosystem with no added costs.

Place shrubs and trees near East- and West-facing windows. They’ll act as a natural barrier
between the house and the elements and also provide shade to keep your house cooler in the

For garden beds, it’s best to use long-lasting mulch. Wood chips are a great choice as they
retain moisture and keep a neat appearance. Raised garden beds and/or container gardens are
also smart choices. Group plants in containers based on their water and light requirements.

Container gardens and raised beds make it easier to take care of plants, plus you don’t have to
break your back arranging them.

Set Boundaries With Edging

Keep weeds and plants from crawling onto walkways with edging. Choose a durable material to
edge the lawn, pathways, and gardens. This will create a structure for the lawn by separating
weeds, grass, and flower beds. There are even easy-to-use plastic edges you can buy and
install. It doesn’t require any digging either; you just stick it in the areas you want to separate.

Install a Drip Irrigation System

Water is necessary to keep a well-maintained lawn, but it’s harder to manage when it’s at a rental
property. You can’t always rely on the renters to stick to a watering schedule. Install an
automatic irrigation system so plants get the exact amount of water they need. Drip irrigation is
a water-efficient option because it reduces runoff and gets water directly to the roots.

Find the Shade

Shade is crucial to keeping your lawn healthy, especially during the hotter times of the year.
While plants need sunlight to grow, too much sun can result in brown spots and more watering.
Trees are the optimal choice to provide shade to your lawn and home, but they take time to
grow. Canopies and umbrellas can help shade your lawn and protect outdoor furniture from the

Add Solar Lights

Make your rental property an inviting space at night with solar-powered lights. Stake lights can
line walkways and driveways, while string lights can bring a backyard to life. Solar lights are also
easy to install with no extension cord, saving you money. However, gloomy days
mean little to no light.

Men installing fake grass
Artificial turf makes for very little maintenance

Consider Artificial Turf

Ditch the water hose and lawn tools and install artificial turf. This lawn is green all year long and
requires very little maintenance. Artificial grass is pet-friendly, but tenants will need to remove
waste promptly. Artificial turf installation does come with a cost. You need to figure out if a few
thousand dollars now outweighs the water and landscaping bills you’d pay over the years.

What About Xeriscaping?

Look into xeriscaping if you don’t want to deal with constantly keeping up with the mowing and
watering of the lawn. This low-mow or no-mow alternative to grass uses hard materials like
stone, wood, and metal to shape and design the landscape.

A durable patio, walkway, and raised garden beds can complement and enhance the design of
your rental property. When it comes to xeriscaping, be sure to keep in mind if you want your
property to be pet-friendly or not. The lack of grass space may be a deterrent for dog owners.

By creating a low-maintenance yard, you’ll cut down outgoing costs for the rental property. You
should keep minimal, basic lawn maintenance in the lease agreement. Renters should
be responsible for keeping the yard tidy and free of trash and, if necessary, watering plants and
the lawn. Schedule check-ins with renters throughout the year to get ahead of any issues and
maintain your property’s curb appeal.

If you’re looking to invest in rental properties, let the experienced realtors at Eng Garcia help you today!

Gina Thompson is an experienced multimedia journalist, producer, and content writer.

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