However, things have been changing during the past few years with drought conditions becoming so dominant in our area. Most homes built in the last 2 or 3 years are putting in low-maintenance yards, and even some of the older homes are converting their yards to low-maintenance. Many houses are like ours, with a low-maintenance yard in front and a traditional grass yard in the small side area.
But low-maintenance is not no-maintenance. There is still a bit of work to do. However, very little watering is required, and that is the big thing for our area. There are weeds and grass to get rid of. Some folks have allowed their low-maintenance yards to be overrun with grass and weeds; you really have to stay on top of things. I usually try to get out for just 2 or 3 minutes a couple of days each week. I normally boil a kettle of water and take with me. When I pull up a weed, I pour a cup or so of boiling water on its stem. I hate to use chemicals, so I try to take a more organic approach to weed control. For weeds and grass along the edge of my yard, where they come up outside the tarp, I just dig down and try to get the entire root system out.
Below are some pictures of homes on my neighborhood walk to give an idea of low-maintenance yards.
|This is an older home in the process of converting its grass lawn to low-maintenance. A weed-blocking (yeah, right!) tarp is being set in place. Where tarp meets curb or sidewalk is wear pesky weeds and grass find a place to crop up.|
|Many of the original low-maintenance yards look something like this, basically just rock and more rock, usually using larger rocks. Although neat and well maintained, they lack any real landscaping.|
|Some of the older homes with low-maintenance lawns really went overboard with desert plants. This yard has ocotillo, chollas, and numerous other desert plants. Also, notice the different types of rock on either side of the sidewalk.|
|Example of a low-maintenance yard receiving no maintenance. Most weeds will come up along the edges of the tarp, as in this yard (along curb, sidewalk, etc.)|
|This yard has some landscaping, but notice all the grass growing up in scattered bunches around the yard.|
Here are some of my favorites.
|Both of these yards are neat and tidy. There's not much in them, but they have a clean appearance.|
|This one is a bit different, but it seems to work. There are no weeds or grass. The low-lying cedar shrubs give it a look not quite of the desert like most low-maintenance yards in the area.|
|No plants in the yard itself for this one, but the color in the bed is nice. Very neat appearance.|
And to finish off, here is one that is a bit different.
|This one mixes the rock landscaping with artificial grass. Several properties around town have begun to use artificial grass, but it is quite expensive.|