If you’re looking for plants and grasses that don’t require much maintenance, you’ve come to the right place. This blog post will discuss some of the best low-maintenance plants and grasses for the Chesapeake Bay area region. Remember that different plants and grasses will thrive in other areas, so research before selecting the right ones.

So let’s dive in and talk about some good low-maintenance plants and grasses for your yard!

Low-maintenance landscaping is an ideal solution for many homeowners, so how do you start the plant selection process? In a perfect world, you want your yard projects and garden to take up a few hours of your time each week or less. The labor should be something that is at least tolerable to perform.

The best low-maintenance plants and grasses for the Chesapeake Bay area region

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance landscape, our Chesapeake native grasses and sedges are essential. Ornamental, clumping grasses that are deep-rooted only require one task per year: cutting them back in late March or early April as new growth starts at the bottom. The roots of grasses can go deep underground, which helps them stay green during droughts since they can access water from lower depths. They also don’t need nutrient-rich soil to survive like other plants.

Do you have sunny hot spots in your yard? 

Here are three great candidates for areas that are windswept or have dry, hot spots: 

Tall Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’: Watch this grass grow! In only a few short months, it will mature to 7 feet (8 feet when in bloom), with beautiful blue-green leaves that turn golden in the fall. This native cultivar gets its name from the delicate rosy puff clouds that appear above the leaves when they bloom.

Pink Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris: The stunning pink-plumed grass is also salt tolerant and drought resistant. There are many cultivars and heights, although the straight kind is ideal for most garden beds at 4 feet tall. The primary disadvantage is that excess water, fertilizer, or poor winter drainage might harm it. Water it during dry spells while it’s establishing, then let it alone.

Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium: Blue grass, also known as “Blue Ice,” may be used to add structure and winter interest in a garden setting. Fall turns reddish-sienna in hue as the season passes. In ordinary garden soil (e.g., ‘The Blues’ or ‘Standing Ovation’), cultivars are less floppy and stand straighter (for example, ‘The Blues’ or ‘Standing Ovation’).

For a shady spot

Many grass-like plants in the carex family make great sedges. Here are three of our favorites, but feel free to explore and find your perfect plant. 

Bristle-leaf sedge, Carex eburnea: This plant is perfect for dry, shady areas under trees. It’s a 12-inch high ball of fine texture that’s reasonably drought tolerant and looks great in masses or mixed in with wild columbine. This plant grows in neat clumps and isn’t too fast spreading. However, it prefers alkaline soil over other types of soil.

Creek sedge, Carex amphibola: Perfect for creating stability on a sloped area next to a ditch or body of water, the 18-inch-tall plant does so by rhizome and from seed. It prefers damper regions but can survive most environments except sunny and hot places that are also dry.

 Blue Wood Sedge, Carex flaccosperma: The smallest in the group, this 6-12 inch tall plant has a more rustic woodland look that works well mixed with ferns and spring ephemerals a shady garden.

 Here are a couple of helpful resources:

 1) Grass comparison chart: Hoffman Nurseries 

 2) Chesapeake native plant finder

If you live in Annapolis or any of the surrounding areas and are looking for ways to reduce the amount of fertilizer you need to have a healthy yard, look no further! This blog post will discuss nine (9) natural lawn care tips that will help your yard thrive without relying on chemical fertilizers. These tips include things like proper watering and mowing techniques and strategies for dealing with pests and diseases. Including several of these easy tips in your yard routine will surely help you create a beautiful and healthy lawn without harming the environment! Our tips offer guidance on “How to have a healthy yard with less fertilizer,” If you need a hand, give us a call!

With proper steps, planning, and organic techniques, most environmental costs connected with lawn care may be avoided. 

The only way to minimize a dependency on chemical fertilizers is to grow healthy grass naturally and organically, resistant to weeds, insects, and illnesses. Consider these ideas for enhancing your lawn’s natural health if you need to apply fertilizer more than once a year.

How Can I Tell If My Yard Soil Is Healthy?

Let’s discuss soil improvements! The first step is to check the soil’s pH, which should be slightly acidic and around 6.5 to 7.0. Excessively acidic soil will require lime. On the other hand, we use sulfur to make the soil more acidic. There are several good pH kits with nutrient level testing that cost less than $15.

Here is a good pH soil test kit on Amazon that isn’t too expensive: SONKIR Soil Meter Testing Kit

Lawns thrive in a soil combination of clay, silt, and sand. Compaction can occur if too much clay in the soil mix or high traffic in your yard. Compacted soil requires aeration. Lawn aeration is the process where air pockets are created by lifting tiny plugs of turf and rotating. The best way to describe the process is to think of it as “fluffing” up the soil.

Compost and grass clippings, for example, are suitable for any soil since they lighten clay soils; they also help build humus in sandy soils, which helps retain water and nutrients. Mulching attachments on lawnmowers break up the clippings and spread them as you mow. Consider adding mineral-rich materials such as glacial rock dust to your soil.

Should I Buy A Specific Type Of Grass For My Yard?

Should I Buy A Specific Type Of Grass For My Yard?

In Annapolis, we have several different types of grasses to offer. Each type of grass grows differently depending on your home’s unique climate environment, the amount of water needed, the number of nutrients they require, and how much shade the grass can tolerate. Grasses also have a degree of tolerance with how much wear they can withstand. At Paradise Landscapes and Hardscapes, we know how to assess your yard to determine the best grass for your property.

Some popular grass types for lawns in Maryland are:

  • Tall Fescue
  • Fine Fescue
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass

How to Have a Healthy Yard with Less Fertilizer in Annapolis

What is Yard Aeration?

Your grass will not flourish if your soil is too clayey or compacted. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to aerate your yard annually because this helps your lawn grow faster. Water, nutrients, and air should be able to flow through the dirt in healthy soil. The pore space, which allows water, nutrients, and air to pass through the ground, should account for half of any good dirt. Plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers can’t get all of the nutrients they need if aeration recreates these crucial areas by removing finger-sized plugs of soil throughout the lawn. If you feel like renting an aerator, you can find one at many of our local garden centers in Annapolis. Or you can call paradise Landscapes and Hardscapes to do this landscape project for you if you want the best results! It’s best practice to aerate your yard before fertilizing it.

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn in Annapolis?

You want to mow your yard often unless you are having drought issues. And you do not want to mow your lawn too short. Giving your yard a “buzz cut” is not helping it. Cutting off more than 1/3 from the top of your grass height isn’t smart. If you cut your grass too short, surface roots become exposed, the soil dries out more quickly, and surface aeration is less effective. Turfgrass species are best maintained between 2.5 and 3.5 inches tall in general.

Maintain a mowing height of about 2″ to 4″ after the grass has finished growing for the year. This practice will prevent mold from developing during the winter.

When Do I Water My Lawn?

Homeowners and HOAs frequently ask this question in Annapolis! Our response is: to water your lawn deeply and infrequently to ensure healthy and robust root systems. It’s essential to get the water deep into your yard to saturate the root system because this helps make the grass more drought-resistant. Allow the grass to dry out completely before watering again, so you don’t overwater your yard. To make watering much simpler, put a cup in the sprinkler area when you water. It should receive at least 1 inch (2.5cm) of water. A typical healthy lawn requires just 1 inch (2.5cm) of water each week.

The optimum time for watering is early in the morning since less water will evaporate. It’s ideal for watering the first half-inch or so and then waiting an hour or two before watering the second half-inch.

What Does Overseeding The Lawn Mean?

Overseeding the yard is the practice of laying grass seed on top of an existing lawn to fill in areas with thin, patchy, or bald spots with grass. Overseeding may be done in the spring and fall when the soil is warm enough for the sort of seed you’ve chosen; this is best suited to cooler climates.

How do I overseed my lawn? Begin by mowing the grass very low and raking away grass clippings and other plant materials to allow the seed to touch the soil. When it’s feasible, aerate before overseeding. To figure out how many seeds to sow per inch, follow the instructions on your seed mix package since these will differ by variety. Keep seeds moist after planting to encourage germination. Once the seeds have sprouted, follow your regular watering schedule. Wait until the grass has reached at least an inch in height before mowing the overwintered area.

What is Lawn Thatch?

Thatch is the formation, or buildup, of above soil runners facilitated by the grass. This thatch layer should only be about 1/2 inch (1.25cm) on a healthy lawn and balanced by natural decomposition, earthworms, and microorganisms. A healthy yard requires a complete watering method for healthy grass to grow; the root system can absorb water and minerals. If there is too much thatch, water and nutrients cannot reach the grass’s roots. However, if you opt to dethatch, you should try to increase aeration before doing so. Aeration attracts microscopic organisms to the surface that consume most of the thatch.

If you don’t aerate, the roots stay close to the surface and cause thatch buildup. It breaks down the thatch by aerating once a year so that the roots can dig deeper into the earth. A thick thatch contributes to stronger grass, which naturally kills weeds. While a dethatcher will reduce buildup, it can also thin the yard out and expose the grass enough to allow weeds to grow more readily. It’s also essential to ensure that you don’t overuse your dethatcher. Try steel rake instead if you get carried away with your dethatching tool! 

Are Insects and Pests a Problem in My Yard?

There are a variety of pests that may harm the health of your grass, so keep an eye out for areas that seem to be damaged. Moles in Annapolis are known as notorious destroyers of turfgrass. If you discover their distinctive tunnels burrowing into your grass, drive them away with granular mole repellent or other natural methods such as physical mole and vole traps.

Here is an affordable mole trap for your yard: Captsure Orginal Humane Mouse and Mole Trap

If you have insect damage, benign nematodes, or some BT (Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae), a nontoxic insecticide manufactured from naturally occurring soil bacteria, can aid in the removal of grubs, beetles, and other common pests. Milky spore is also helpful in targeting grubs.

Hardscapes In Annapolis

It might be time to consider replacing grass with pathways like stones or pavers in high-traffic areas. Paths are more suited for places that people walk over repeatedly because it is almost impossible to grow a consistently trampled healthy yard. For an upkeep-free pathway, lay paving bricks or pebbles. Yearly mulching is also practical! Stone pavers and stepping stones can be a little more expensive but will last a long time. They also make beautiful and ecologically friendly solutions.

Fixing bare spots

After the first cutting, look for any prominent bare areas on your lawn. Water runoff and puddling might cause grass growth to be patchy on sloped ground and undulating regions.

Paradise Landscapes and Hardscapes use topsoil/organic, nutrient-dense compost to assist the seed germination and keep it from being washed away, blown away, or eaten by birds. It’s important to water your newly seeded soil twice a day for the first few weeks to ensure that the dirt stays wet. 

Here are a few interesting statistics we thought we would share about lawncare according to the U.S. National Wildlife Federation:

  • 60% of the water on the West Coast is for watering lawns compared to 30% on the East Coast.
  • Yard waste is responsible for 18% of municipal solid waste.
  • Ironically, farmlands receive less chemical pesticides per acre than suburban yards by ten (10) times.
  • Residential lawns and gardens consume over 70 million tons of fertilizers and pesticides annually.
  • A gas lawn mower produces 10-12 times more hydrocarbon than a regular vehicle per hour of operation. Weed eaters (21x more) and leaf blowers (34x more) emit more than a typical car.
  • Earthworms are vital for healthy soil, and pesticides kill 60-90% of them.

It’s almost summer, and it’s not too late to get on our schedule for weekly lawn mowing services! Paradise Landscapes and Hardscapes is the best lawn care company in Annapolis. We have many decades of experience and are here to answer any questions you might have. Call our team of green thumb experts today or fill out our short form by clicking the button below.

FREE Estimate

Ah, springtime. The cold, dreary winter snow is melting, the birds are chirping their hearts out, and spring flowers are starting to bloom. It’s time for spring yard cleanup! This year, don’t let the unpredictable weather catch you by surprise. We decided to give you a little bit of advice to help you prepare your lawn and garden for the growing season with our spring yard cleanup checklist. Use this blog Spring Yard Cleanup Checklist: Lawncare, Gardening, and More, to help get your yard summer-ready or contact us today to do all of your dirty work! This blog post will discuss six essential categories to help your yard ready for gardening.

General Yard Cleanup

Grab some heavy-duty gloves and get going. You’ll first need to remove leaves, branches, and twigs built up over the winter before mowing the lawn. Getting leaves and trash off of grass is essential for the grass to breathe. A thorough spring cleaning prepares the ground for new mulch and yearly flowers. If you were diligent about thoroughly raking your leaves in the fall, you most likely avoided “snow mold.” However, there will always be some stray leaves to rake, and raking helps prevent thatch accumulation on lawns.

Tip: When raking the lawn, be sure to sweep up pinecones or limbs. Pinecones need to be shredded because this helps them break down more readily in a compost bin.

Trees and Shrubs Cutbacks

Remove dead and decaying branches. It’s good to prune back to living stems on both trees and shrubs. Pruning helps to get rid of branches that have been harmed by the cold, snow, and wind. However, there is a “best time” to prune living stems and branches. As a result of pruning too soon, things can go wrong with the blooming pattern.

If you have lawn care questions or need landscaping help, reach out to us for more information or schedule a free consultation.

Perennials and Grass Cutbacks

Perennials need to be cut back and divided on an as-needed basis. Regular pruning helps your yard look tidy. Additionally, pruning these plants also helps the other plants and bushes from suffocating.

Edging and Cleanup Around Plant Beds

While it may be stating the obvious, it’s time to rake out dead leaves and foliage (which may smother plants and promote illness), remove spent annuals, and fill a wheelbarrow with additional organic yard waste once the spring yard cleanup is complete. Remove any existing mulch once the danger of frost has passed to set up for a new layer when you are ready to plant in the spring. Deep edging around flower beds and tree trunks is similar to framing landscaped areas.

Shapers and spades are tools that make clear borders between your turf and flower beds. This type of edging is done before pre-emergent, and fresh mulch is applied.

Grass, bushes, and vines can be snagged and pulled from a landscaped bed. A manicured edge will keep grass and weeds from encroaching on your garden. It also makes mowing along flower bed edges much more manageable, resulting in less risk of harm.

Prep Yard for Spring Seeding

Nex up on our Spring Yard Cleanup Checklist is prepping your yard for seeding! Grass will germinate in April, but testing the soil’s pH early in the spring is brilliant since it allows you to mix the right seeding formula for our yard. To prepare for seeding that will take place in a few weeks, remove salt-damaged turf, plows, or diseases. Mulch can also make a world of difference to a tired winter yard. Spring is the best time to add a new layer of mulch.

Tip: It can help control weed germination and growth, keeping soil wetter and cooler as temperatures rise. During the summer heat, this is quite important.

Cleanup Hardscapes and Patios

Rake gravel back into walkways and patios from winter storm damage. Use a pressure washer with a low-pressure nozzle to remove slippery algae spots or leaf marks from patios and pathways. Sweep in fresh sand or stone dust to refill joints between flagstones; water the area with a hose, then repeat.

Maintaining your landscape adds to the value of your home, but it also provides a secure outside environment for everyone who visits, works, and lives on it. Do you need a hand with your spring garden? At Paradise Landscape and Hardscape, we provide expert spring cleanup services in Annapolis, MD. We can help you with various spring lawncare services and offer weekly and monthly landscaping packages. We will collaborate with you to discover methods to enhance your property and make the most excellent first impression on your clients, consumers, workers, residents, or guests.

Contact us to learn more about our commercial and residential landscaping cleanup services for spring!

FREE ESTIMATE

It might seem like one more step, but mulching vegetable gardens goes a long way. The best mulch for vegetable gardens works like a dressing on your salad- it adds flavor and nutrients, breathing new life into the vegetable. So, what is the best mulch for vegetable gardens?

What is Mulch?

We use mulch as a blanket term for all kinds of materials that we cover the soil with. These could be organic or inorganic and range from straw to gravel. Mulch is extremely useful in keeping the ground moist, keeping weeds away, and helping keep soil healthy and perfect for growing.

Organic or Inorganic?

Organic mulches were alive at one point (think leaves, compost, or grass clippings) and will decompose. As icky as this sounds, it’s great for growing things, and having mulch made of organic material gives nutrients and organic matter to the soil. This measure makes the soil healthier and is excellent for root health.

Inorganic mulches are synthetic (we’re talking decorative gravels, landscaping fabric, and black plastic) and don’t decompose or do so very slowly. These are great for preventing weeds, making sure you don’t have to mulch often, or decorating.

The Most Important Thing About Mulching Vegetable Gardens

Keep it light and breezy. We’re looking for materials that will break down quickly, nourishing the soil and helping veggies break through. Using heavy material like hardwood will keep the little sprouts down and give nothing to the earth.

Light, organic materials like grass clippings or straw will give nutrients to the soil and are easy for your budding salad toppings to break through.

Compost

This one is great because you don’t have to pay for it (make it yourself) and save the environment while you’re doing it. Compost is a mix of decomposing organic matter, and it’s packed with nutrients. By saving banana peels and eggshells for your compost (among other things), you can add a lot of healthy food to your veggies.

Avoid putting these in your compost, as it can make you sick or (gasp) ruin your garden:

  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Animal Droppings
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds

Grass Clippings

Another bargain mulch is grass clippings which are full of nutrients. They help prevent weeds and can be spread easily after mowing your lawn. (If you don’t cut your lawn, talk to your lawn care service to see how they can accommodate your need for the green)

Avoid using grass treated with harsh pesticides. Instead, you should mow grass with milder pesticides a few times before using it on your veggies.

Straw

Lawn care services in Annapolis don’t just operate during the summer. There are essential things to do during the winter as well. For example, straw is an excellent winter mulch. Protecting the soil from frost retains the moisture and insulates the soil. Straw can also be used during the summer, making it a great and inexpensive option.

Although we sometimes use the terms interchangeably, make sure you buy straw and not hay, and purchase from a reputable dealer who won’t give you weeds with your straw.

Contact Lawn Care Services for Mulch

We know you might not have access to all these things (or the inclination), and it’s okay. We’ve got you. Not only do we have access to the materials (we’ve been mowing the lawn all day, we have grass-clipping coming out our ears), but we’ll come to lay it out for you. Please fill out our form below for a free quote on how much it will cost to have professional lawn care services in Annapolis mulch your vegetable garden.

Follow us for more great tips on how to make your lawn look much, mulch, better.

REQUEST ESTIMATE