Alternative Choices to Grass for Your Lawn
A big, green, grassy lawn has become a staple of the American landscape. But more and more people are looking for alternatives to grass. Maintaining a lawn requires a great deal of time, money and resources – including fuel for your mower and the water that helps to keep it green. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the size of your lawn while still keeping its aesthetic appeal. All of the following suggestions will not only save you time, energy and expense, they will add to the beauty of your property.
Groundcover plants spread low and wide, and no cutting is required. Groundcovers are an excellent choice because once they are planted they require almost no maintenance. Because they are dense they also suppress weed growth, and enhance the soil by acting as a mulch.
Several varieties of groundcover are available, including those that flower. Some are even edible, such as strawberries or herbs like thyme and oregano. Additional types of plants that serve as superb groundcover include alyssum, verbena and juniper. The staff at your local garden center can recommend varieties good for your area.
Clover grows quickly and easily, and also works as a great weed suppressant. Clover is low maintenance, needing little or no additional watering other than rainfall. It requires no fertilizers to keep it looking great, and stays green even in the hottest days of summer. Although not as durable as grass, it is still easy to walk or play on though not recommended for high traffic areas.
Commonly available varieties of clover include Dutch White, Yellow Blossom and Red Clover. Of these, Dutch White is best suited as a grass alternative, and grows well even in poor soil.
Ornamental grasses are a great addition to any yard. Not only are they attractive, but they are drought-resistance and require little or no maintenance.
Many varieties of ornamental grasses are available to suit your tastes. Most grasses prefer a sunny location, and because they can get big need to be space generously when first planted. Grasses can be cut back to promote new growth, and can be divided if they get too big or die back in the center of the clump.
Flowers and Shrubs
Adding flower and shrub beds to your property is also a great way to reduce the size of your lawn. Choosing low water varieties will cut back on maintenance and yet add visual interest to your yard. Choose native perennials that are suitable for your area to cut down even further on maintenance costs and time. Ask at your local garden center for native perennials that are good choices for your property.
While you can replace sections of your lawn with other plants, don’t forget that adding gravel paths, pavers or patios are also great ways to cut down the amount of turf you have to maintain. And what’s great about these choices are that they require no water at all!
As you can see, there are many choices when it comes to finding alternatives for grass. So if you’ve been itching to ditch your lawn, try one of the suggestions above to not only save time, money and resources, but also to beautify the exterior of your home!