8 low-maintenance landscaping tips for vacation rentals

Garden and lawn maintenance for better curb appeal


Forget the old adage—when it comes to your vacation rental, looks do matter. Lush yards and gardens are more than pretty to look at. They’re also good for business. Well-maintained landscaping can:

Just remember, the same rule applies to your landscaping as with any amenity—keep your expenses to a minimum, so you can maximize your earnings. Choosing the wrong type of landscaping can easily waste water, require regular upkeep, and worst of all—cost too much money.

Here are 8 low-maintenance landscaping ideas for your rental property that can lower costs and grow your return. Let’s dig in.

1. Replace grass with synthetic turf

Verdant green grass might seem like the natural go-to for landscaping. However, consider how much time and money it costs to regularly water, edge, mow, weed, fertilize, and aerate it. The better choice: Install artificial grass instead.

Synthetic turf will dramatically decrease your landscape maintenance, not to mention eliminate your grass watering bill altogether. Even better? Artificial grass won’t brown or die from heavy use and will remain bright and inviting to your guests all year round.

2. Plant what’s native to the area

Local plants and trees naturally thrive in the area with little maintenance. This means no additional watering, pesticides, or fertilizers needed. This alone can instantly decrease the amount of work you have to put into your vacation rental landscaping, since native plants naturally survive on their own.

While it’s near impossible to grow a zero-maintenance landscape, planting what’s local mostly requires occasional trimming to keep them in tip-top shape.

3. Install walking paths

Hardscape walkways, like those made from paving stones, bricks, or gravel, can benefit your landscape and guests alike. Here’s what they can do:

  • Help guide your guests on the safest paths around your garden and yard
  • Save water by taking up landscape that would otherwise require maintenance
  • Reduces weed growth in that area
  • Help prevent guests from walking on other parts of your landscaping
  • Enhance curb appeal
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4. Build a deck or patio

Outdoor living spaces are a big draw for guests and a huge asset to beefing up your booking all year long. Similar to hardscape walking paths, decks and patios provide function without a lot of upkeep or watering. They’re also a smart way to cover barren yards or dried-out lawns, while boosting curb appeal at the same time.

Instead of pruning, weeding, and watering, you can focus on decorating the space for lounging, dining, and entertaining. Opt for low-maintenance furniture and accessories, such as those made of weather-resistant materials like POLYWOOD® lumber and Sunbrella® fabrics.

5. Add solar lighting

Landscape lighting not only sets the mood and enhances your yard’s visual appeal, it can help guide guests at night and make your property safer.

Solar lights require the least amount of maintenance. Simply place them where they’ll receive enough direct sunlight. No wires, electricity, or complicated installation needed. For upkeep, just keep the solar panel and globe clean throughout the year.

6. Install an automatic irrigation system

If your plants and trees do require regular watering, the best way to conserve water and your money is to install an automatic irrigation system. This is especially useful when you don’t live near your vacation rental.

These watering systems will consistently make sure your plants and trees receive the water they need at the right time. Opt for one with a rain sensor that can sense rainfall or current moisture levels to avoid overwatering.

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7. Pile on the mulch

Mulch is a star player when creating a low-maintenance landscape. It’s mostly made up of any substance you can use to cover the soil, such as wood chips, shredded leaves, small stones, or crushed lava rock. Here’s what it can do:

  • Naturally adds nutrients to the soil
  • Keeps soil cool and maintains its moisture on hot days
  • Lowers your water bill, since its super absorbency maintains moisture in the soil for long periods of time
  • Decreases the need for weeding (consider also using a protective weed barrier cloth)
  • Protects roots from frost damage

8. Forego the water features

Waterfalls and fountains are some of the most attractive and relaxing garden features you can invest in. However, they also mean high utility bills. With water features, you’ll pay non-stop for the water and the electricity they need to keep running. Not to mention the water you’ll naturally lose from evaporation and the regular cleaning, pump maintenance, and repair they’ll require.

From inviting outdoor lighting to finding better alternatives to replace your water-thirsty lawn, the features outside your vacation rental are as important to your bottom line (and your guests) as the amenities within. Follow these tips to keep your landscape costs down and your return on investment climbing.

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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.