Which is more work for you, your flower beds, or the same square footage in lawn?
Right now, my lawn is mostly>dandylions,chickweed,clover&moss,so I would have to say that the lawn would be more work! I kinda gave up on it when we started to get watering restrictions saying that we could not water the grass,wash our vehicles etc, but it sure doesn't help having a dead lawn and a nice flower bed>U.G.L.Y.
Flower beds. MUCH more work. My St. Augustine lawn is worry-free.
Ditto Renee's comment--flowerbeds are much more work but also much more pleasure so I count it a fair exchange. The lawn has about half weeds in it but they're the same green as the grass and not particularly noticeable when the lawn is kept trimmed. My neighbor & his son keep both lawns mowed; in exchange I plant winter sown perennials in their south foundation bed plus I weed, spring clean and mulch the bed.
I have May Night and East Friesland as well as a few Hummingbird Red annuals. I can't say I love any of them, but they do well here. I am slowly learning that "ordinary" plants that do well are better than plants that would have been different or interesting if they had thrived/lived.
I meant to post this on the salvia thread. Guess I need another cup of coffee.
Confused- I so agree with you! It's much easier to love a plant that does well for you, than to constantly try to baby one that can't survive the winter.
My husband mows the lawn, so for me, the gardens are MUCH more work! :)
I'm with LL. I do nothing with the lawn and DH keeps it beautiful (in fact he's out there right now slaving away mowing after a very long spell of rain while I'm having fun on GW!) But the borders do take quite a bit of work. I've always wondered if I really do spend more time in the borders than he does on the lawn between aerating, mowing, raking, weedwacking, edging, etc.
Ten times over the flower beds..
I suppose if you were one of the poeple who had one of those golf course lawns, with no weeds, perfect # of blades one type of grass yards, that would take alot of work.. Not sure thats even doable in the rural part of maine.. Tons of things drift in, and if you keep them all trimmed to about the same height.. who knows whats in there =P..
The only issue I have with the yard is one patch over my septic bed that doesnt like to take, of course it would love to live in my flower beds and in my gravel driveway under the stairs and any other place I dont want it, but not in that one area I want it in lol..
Trying to have a picture perfect organic lawn on a large acreage in the backwoods is an exercise in futility so my patches of grass don't get much attention. I've occasionally spent a few hours giving them alfalfa tea, soya meal, or granular molasses and right now they are 'green as grass' with all the rain but by mid-August will be brown. Summers here tend to be dry and I'm not wasting the water on them. If I had less grass I might water it, but then I'd have to have more/larger flower beds and already have plenty.
My flower beds on the other hand take more time, energy, attention, etc. than I can possibly give but also give back a lot of beauty and satisfaction. My aim is to make the flower beds look so good that no one even notices the weedy 'lawn'.
Since I couldn't care less about the "lawn", and DH mows it, the flowerbeds are exponentially more work for me. But they are so rewarding, too.
Like some others, my lawn has a pretty large percentage of weeds. As long as it's green I don't care so the only thing we do to it is mow and throw down some grass seed if an area gets torn up.
Keeping the gardens in tip-top shape takes more time than maintaining the lawn. Of course my gardens are rarely in tip-top shape! lol
In most places my beds are much easier than a lawn was. They take less water, and much less care. I tend to them heavily twice a year and only deadhead the rest. It sure beats weekly mowing, watering etc.
Flower beds for sure. There is only one plant (not counting weeds ;-) to look after in a lawn, white there are many plants in a flower bed that each require individualized care.
This is my second year going natural with the lawn and I am very pleased with it. Even the guy next door who laughed at my natural approach said it looked nice the other day ;-D For the most part I don't worry about the lawn and often times let it "go" a week or two without mowing in summer, lol. Then I just sprinkle aged manure and/or alfalfa pellets on the lawn whenever I get around to it, usually before a spring or fall rain shower.
My lawn and flower beds are like kids - whoever is misbehaving at the moment gets the attention. The work seems to just about equal out over the seasons.
I'm with girlgroupgirl. I pretty much let my flower beds take care of themselves most of the year. I'm a very laissez-faire kind of gardener, though. And when I do need to work in them it feels more like 'play' than 'work' anyhow! :)
The grass (and clover and dandelions and whatever else is in there...), on the other hand, gets obviously unruly without fairly regular attention.
I would have to say the gardens. Lawn mowing is once a week, maybe twice when we get lots of rain. For the gardens if you consider weeding, pruning, watering, mulching, deadheading, fertilizing, planting, dividing, etc. it is an every day project. If I don't spend some time every day it will get out of control and then there is no catching up.
A lawn is far more work because of all the weeding, the maintenance, etc..
I have a perennial garden front yard. I took out the entire lawn and filled up the area tightly with perennials flowers. I've not had to do weeding, planting etc... the plants poked out on their own and because of close planting, I've not had weeds that could survive in this bed. There is no cutting, no weekly prunings, no weekly fertilizing. Nothing. All I did was to spread new soil before the plants came up. Add some composted manure and bone meal. Spread some annual seeds and then that is it. Sit back, relax and watch it grow. I guess my activity is now more of photographing the flowers.
I have never stayed up at night wondering exactly where I was going to move chunks of lawn. I have never looked at it from all different angles and wondered why my layering looks stupid. I have never laid down on the lawn and carefully plucked out single blades to replant them as I did this morning with the tiny patches of tickseed growing into my roses. I don't carefully pull up clover in the lawn as I do when it's growing through dianthus. And I never drive around hunting for a new cultivar of grass.
My husband has it easy. =D
This turned out to be an interesting thread, with some of you feeling that your beds are tons of work, and some of you who pretty much plant it and forget it.
I hate mowing the lawn, and carrying the very heavy bag to the compost pile. I constantly fight dandelions and other weeds in the lawn. I have been notorious for bad lawnmower karma, until this Honda, knock on wood. Then there's constant weed whacking, fertilizing, de-mossing, de-grubbing (mole trouble), re-seeding, etc.
In contrast, once my beds are planted (mine are mostly perennials) and mulched, I just water, fertilize, and occasionally wield my hula hoe.
So for me, the beds seem easier. Certainly more fun.
I have to pop back in. I was probably looking at the topic question more from a standpoint of how much time I spend on each activity. I want to clarify that, for the most part, I don't consider gardening work and I DO consider maintaining the lawn work.
So if you count the number of hours spent on the garden vs. the number of hours spent on the lawn, I spend many more hours on the gardens. But, the gardens are an enjoyment not a chore.
My flowers are mostly perennials, so I just plant a few new ones and refresh the mulch in the spring, and then turn on the soakerhose once a week in the heat of the summer, which takes all of 5 minutes. The soaker hose lives under the mulch in the garden all year round, and I just drag the hose out, connect it to end of the soaker hose, and turn it on. Even that's not needed if we get a good thunderstorm. I pick bouquets every few days, which means I don't have to do much deadheading. But that doesn't count as work because I don't sweat, LOL.
The lawn, on the other hand, requires an hour of mowing every week, all summer long. And then there's the trimming, which is a pain when you don't have a trimmer, LOL. My lawn is probably more weeds than grass, but they are very interesting and mostly edible weeds, so I let them stay. Someday I will get around to making dandelion wine. In the meantime, I mow.
I'm with MaryLu, I don't consider gardening work. I am no longer physicially able to mow or trim. But I can sit on my cart and garden. But if digging is involved I need help, unless it is a gallon or smaller plant.
I have people coming Monday to begin the mowing every 2 weeks.
Our lawn is Buffalo Grass so it requires zero work. It gets mowed once a year or less and does not need water, fertilizer, or weed killer. The look isn't for everyone, but we love it.
Definitely spend more time on the garden, but I don't consider that work.
Flower beds,i have lawn guys that do our lawns!!
My LAWN! I'm always mad at it. haha.
My gardens take a lot of work in early spring, but as soon as they're mulched, all the work is fun. But the *(&^ grass.... I have a lot of hills and mowing is terribly difficult. Been especially hard this spring with all the rain. By the time I get done it's time to start mowing again!
It's a toss up right now, but eventually gardens will be established & lawn reduced to easy curves with brick mowing strips, so no grassy edges that need hand trimming.
This year we expanded the beds to include a dwarf fruit tree near the front & along the back created a border around 5 fruit trees and a stump. No more ducking while you mow!
Hubby & teen son do the mowing. By the time son is out of the house it should be easy enough to keep up as we've reduced the lawn quite a bit over the years.