(BPT) – According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), low-maintenance landscaping outranks native plantings, water features and food/vegetable gardens among homeowners. Armed with know-how and using sweat equity, do-it-yourselfers can employ tips that professionals use for a no-maintenance landscape makeover.

Landscape professionals use retaining wall systems for a variety of landscaping solutions. Segmental retaining walls are commonly used to transition elevations, shore up slopes along foundations and define spaces such as planters, tree rings and other features.

Retaining wall systems combined with concrete pavers can be used to create raised patios in place of high-maintenance wooden decks. Retaining wall units and interlocking concrete pavers come in a variety of colors, shapes and textures to complement any landscape design and are often used to create design continuity in outdoor spaces. Tree rings can be coordinated or color-contrasted with raised patios, retaining walls and other hardscapes.

Permeable pavers
are an environmentally sound and low-maintenance solution where impervious surface limits, storm water management, water quality and water conservation are issues.

Low-maintenance landscaping practices can make it easier to control weeds and manage lawn care. The use of rock mulch and natural rock in gardens and beds or as walkways and stepping stones offers an attractive solution to weed control and also lessens the need for irrigation. At least three inches of rock mulch or four inches of natural mulch will prevent weeds. A landscape fabric under stepping stones and rock mulch offers even more protection against weeds.

Selecting maintenance-free outdoor furniture and accessories is another way to make over an outdoor space. Outdoor furniture made of recycled materials requires no storage or maintenance other than cleanup with soap and water.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.