When it comes to gardens, your piece of paradise can look like another person’s maintenance nightmare. This is especially true if you’re selling your home. You’ll want to do all you can to increase your property value, and planting a low-maintenance garden can help.

One of the most obvious benefits is right in the description: low maintenance. It’s also an eco-friendly choice because it needs less water and fertilizer to grow. Both factors appeal to home buyers who don’t want to deal with rigorous gardening chores.

Start with Good Soil

Colorado is blessed with many things, but good planting soil is not one of them. Much of the ground here is heavy clay without a lot of nutrients. Before planting, you’ll need to add organic material like compost or grass clippings to boost the nutrients.

Choose What You’ll Grow

The most important step in this process is understanding your growing zone. Whether you’re planting perennials or vegetables, check the USDA Hardiness Zone map. Then, set yourself up for success by choosing plants that will survive in your zone.

Go Native


Another way to tip the gardening odds in your favor is to choose native plants. Native plants are accustomed to your area’s soil and climate conditions, and they thrive with less water and little to no fertilizer. They’re also less susceptible to pest damage and disease. Designer tip: Choose a wide range of perennials that bloom at different times of the year. That way, your garden will have color all year long.

Plant Smart

Planting smart is all about putting the right plant in the right place. Use the microclimate of your garden to determine what goes where. Drier spots with full sun should have plants that can take the heat. Got a shady spot that doesn’t drain well? That’s where a water-loving plant should go. Plant edible crops in easy-to-harvest areas, and put taller grasses along fences, so they don’t obstruct access or the view.


Smother weeds, retain moisture, and nourish the soil by using mulch. A thick layer will do all these things while adding an attractive element to your garden. Wood bark, pine needles, straw, or lawn clippings are good choices.

Bring on the Bees…


…and the butterflies, birds, and moths with a pollinator garden. Pollinators spread pollen to help fertilize plants so they can produce fruit and new plants. These hard-working insects and animals are essential to our ecosystem and food supply. By choosing plants that attract pollinators, you’ll give your garden and the environment a boost. Plus, these gardens are trending right now, and establishing one could bump up your property value.

Grow Some Trees

Trees can cool your home, shade your yard, and increase your property’s beauty and value. Surround those trees with plants or gravel rather than lawn. Choose plants that thrive in the shade and won’t falter among the tree’s roots. This also means less grass to mow.

Replace Lawn with Garden

We love our Kentucky Bluegrass lawns in Colorado, but if you’re tired of watering and mowing it, consider replacing it, or at least part of it. Ground cover is perfect for spots where grass won’t grow, like western or southern-facing slopes. It’s also a good solution for areas that are hard to mow, like under trees or on hillside terraces. Spend more time skipping down the garden path…by actually having one. A crushed gravel path can replace a thirsty lawn with a decorative, functional touch.

Save yourself the agony of a garden that won’t grow or one that cuts into your free time by going low maintenance. You can still have your garden oasis by making smart, environmentally conscious choices. Your home’s future buyer will thank you, and you’ll reap the rewards before and after you sell.

By Vivi Wong