Landscaping ideas for rental houses

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you're a landlord or a renter, you might want to keep the yard of your rental home looking nice by planting flowers, vegetables, groundcovers and other easy-care plants. For landlords, the key to keeping the yard of a rental house looking good is to grow plants that require very little care and maintenance. For tenants, growing annuals and other plants in containers means not having to leave them behind when you move.

Plant What is Easy to Grow in Your Region

Whether you're a landlord or a renter, you can improve the appearance of your yard by growing plants that are well-suited to your region. If you visit a good local nursery, you'll see many plants that will succeed in your yard. Decide if you want to plant annuals, perennials or a combination of the two. Some fruit trees are fairly easy to grow and care for: if you're the landlord, you'll only need to visit your property to prune, fertilise and harvest your trees two or three times a year. If you're the tenant and you enjoy the fruit, a producing fruit tree is a bonus feature, assuming the landlord doesn't want the crop.

Landscape with Potted Plants

If you're a renter and you like to garden, you can grow many types of plants in attractive planter boxes and decorative pots to dress up your front or back yard. Rose bushes, flowering bulbs, most herbs and even small trees and shrubs lend themselves well to container growing. You can move them to a new home if you leave your rental house. Perhaps you would like to grow some of the native plants from your part of the country; many of them provide colour, are drought tolerant and rarely need fertiliser or other special care.

Avoid Lawns and Other High Maintenance Landscaping

Grass lawns require constant maintenance in the form of mowing, weeding, fertilising and watering. If you're a landlord and you don't relish the idea of paying for a yard service at your house, you can't always rely on your tenants to adequately keep a lawn looking its best. However, you needn't abandon the idea of having a lush green carpet that serves the same purpose as a lawn. Many lawn alternatives exist, from Corsican mint to creeping thyme, clover varieties or blooming plants such as periwinkle (Vinca spp.). If you select a groundcover that can withstand periods of dry weather, frost and intense sun, it will take care of itself and neither you nor your tenant will need to do much after you plant it.

Grow Annual Flowers and Vegetables

Renters can enjoy the beauty of a flower garden and the nourishment of fresh vegetables when they plant annual varieties. Creating a small flower or vegetable garden is easy and inexpensive. When you move, you won't be leaving behind a large investment of plants and soil amendments. With one large bag of organic compost, you can create a small garden bed by digging it into a space about 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. Spread the compost on top of the soil and dig it in with a shovel. Then plant starter plants of flowers and veggies, water them once a week and enjoy the harvest later in the summer.

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About the Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.