Ask a Question forum: Low-effort landscaping with wood chips

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ransomedbyfire
Apr 15, 2016 3:59 AM CST
My husband and I are both disabled. I'm legally blind, and he has mobility issues. So, I'm looking for ways to reduce yard maintenance.

I've heard about ways to get free wood chips, and I've also heard great things about sedums, but I'm starting to wonder if the two ideas are incompatible.

Any ideas on plants for zone 8a that would require little effort to plant and maintain and are easy to propagate that can live around wood chips?
[Last edited by ransomedbyfire - Apr 15, 2016 4:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 15, 2016 10:18 AM CST
Welcome to ATP! Welcome!

I can appreciate your need for low maintenance gardening but wood chips and plants just don't mix. And you would have to replace the woodchips every couple years as they decompose. How about ground covers and low maintenance shrubs?

Ivy (but your shrubs would be engulfed), periwinkle (has pretty blue flowers in the spring), wood violets (won't let the weeds grow)... For shrubs junipers or carpet roses - they never need pruning and fill an area quickly. Junipers are always green but don't bloom. Carpet roses are covered in flowers all summer but go dormant. I would mix shrubs and ground covers together for some interest in your garden.

All these plants are relatively cheap at the big box stores and its spring! The perfect time to find plants and plant plants. Smiling Hopefully, you have a gardener or someone to help you put this all in.

Can you give us a location? Plants respond differently to rainfall amounts and heat.

Daisy
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Apr 15, 2016 10:31 AM CST
Yes I think sedums wouldn't go well with the woodchips. If you're wanting a low maintenance garden you could consider ground cover. What about something scented that you could appreciate?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 15, 2016 2:12 PM CST
ransomedbyfire Welcome! to ATP.
Knowing a bit more about your location would sure help; I am wondering if your zone 8a is anywhere near me. It would be helpful to see a photo of the yard/garden where you need to reduce the maintenance.

Free is not always worth the price (and I'm really cheap!!); sometimes it is better to pay a little bit more and have something you can enjoy living with.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

ransomedbyfire
Apr 15, 2016 2:20 PM CST
DaisyI said:Welcome to ATP! Welcome! Can you give us a location? Plants respond differently to rainfall amounts and heat.

Daisy

Thanks for the reply and all the info! I live in northeastern South Carolina, about 70 miles from the coast.

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ransomedbyfire
Apr 15, 2016 2:27 PM CST
greene said:ransomedbyfire Welcome! to ATP.
Knowing a bit more about your location would sure help; I am wondering if your zone 8a is anywhere near me.

I'm about 175 miles northeast of you.

It would be helpful to see a photo of the yard/garden where you need to reduce the maintenance.


Thumb of 2016-04-15/ransomedbyfire/771e73

By the way, as far as I can tell, most of the places I'd want to plant in are part-full sun.

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Apr 15, 2016 2:43 PM CST
Thanks for the photo - wow, that is a lot of lawn! Do you have some idea of which areas you want to make "lawnless" to cut down on the maintenance?

175 miles.... Shrug! sheesh, it would take me about 4 hours to drive that far so I guess I won't be able to surprise you by sneaking over and replanting your entire yard while you are napping. Hilarious!

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

ransomedbyfire
Apr 15, 2016 3:01 PM CST
greene said:Thanks for the photo - wow, that is a lot of lawn!

It's not really THAT bad. (If you wanna see bad, you'll have to see the back yard.)

Do you have some idea of which areas you want to make "lawnless" to cut down on the maintenance?

I've only mowed it once so far, but I'd say the area around the tall tree on the right. (Is that a cedar?) The grass around it grows faster than any other.

And some of the border near the road.

The tree on the left, I think, suppresses the grass itself, but there's also some utility-related stuff to the left of it I'd like to avoid mowing. (Then again, I'd probably have to avoid gardening there too.)

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