Some people genuinely enjoy yard work. The rest of us, however, view it as a task to be completed as quickly and effortlessly as possible. The easiest solution is, of course, to hire someone else to complete these chores. If hiring someone isn’t in the budget, however, here are five tips to help you get your lawn work done quickly so you can spend time relaxing in your yard rather than working in it.

Delay Raking

If you are lucky enough to be planning your landscape from scratch, choose evergreen trees so you don’t have to rake every fall. Select plants and trees that don’t drop litter in the form of big seed pods, fruit or spent flower blossoms. If it’s too late to save yourself from deciduous trees, wait to do your raking until all the leaves have fallen. This way you only have to do the job once. As an added bonus, wind will likely have blown your leaves up against a fence or house wall, making it easy to collect them from where they have gathered without raking at all.

Diaper Your Plants

Homeowners with a green thumb often accent patios and other outdoor areas with potted plants. This looks great but leads to repeated watering. Combat this by lining the bottoms of your containers with diapers. They will absorb and hold moisture, allowing your plants to survive without water for longer periods of time.

Get Low

When installing walkways in your lawn, choose a material that is flat and low. Homemade stepping stones with marbles or seashells embedded in them look nice, but they can’t be mowed over. To keep maintenance to a minimum, stick to flagstone, concrete pavers or other materials that can be set into and made flush with the surrounding ground. This allows you to mow right over them rather than getting out the trimmer.

Grass Substitutes

An increasingly popular trick for a lush, green yard without a lot of maintenance is to fill in empty spaces with a sturdy ground cover. Clovers, mosses and other green plants can be used to create green space that requires very little (if any) upkeep. Many of these plants grow thick enough to block weeds on their own and require very little, if any, attention or maintenance.

Leave It Alone

Mother Nature was planting and nurturing grass long before modern suburbanites. Although the garden center may tell you differently, most lawns don’t need time-consuming and expensive treatments. Fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides are often unnecessary, especially if you have planted a native grass. Use these products only when and if you have a problem and save time by applying them only where you need them rather than over your entire lawn.

Let those who enjoy yard work spend their weekends covered in dirt, tending to plant after plant. As for me, I will be raising a glass to these hard workers from the comfort of my hammock while enjoying the fact that my work is done.