While grass looks great, it’s also a pain to maintain. It requires a lot of water (which may not always be legal to provide, depending on drought conditions), constant cutting, and preventative maintenance in the form of pesticides and weed killers. It’s no surprise that more homeowners are saving money and time by switching to alternatives to the traditional lawn. Curious? Check out a few of the popular options below.
Ornamental grasses are larger, bushier grasses that often have pretty “blooms” during growing season to spread their seeds. They rarely need to be cut back, and smaller versions can replace sizable sections of your lawn without spreading into other garden areas. Their watering needs are simple as well, so you can also save significant amounts of water. However, ornamental grasses may require extra weeding, and they are not as easy to walk on.
Natural stone, from river pebbles to lava rock, can also make a great choice for replacing broad sections of your lawn. Try to choose natural stones that come from your local environment for the best effect. Remember, when replacing lawns with stone, it’s important to dig deep and remove all traces of the grass, and put down matting or other weed barriers to prevent weeds from growing up among the rocks.
Gravel is a cheaper alternative to natural stone, and the gray appearance may complement your landscaping more effectively. The same rules apply here as with stone: Make sure the gravel bed is well protected against weeds!
If you really prefer the look of a grass lawn, then research synthetic grass options for your area. Synthetic grass can be an ideal option for smaller lawns, but picking the right kind is important: There are several different types, based on material, with different appearances and durability. Consider how much you use your lawn before you buy.
For small areas, especially lawns close to other plants or shrubs, replacing the whole lawn with mulch is a common alternative. Many homeowners then install stepping stones or other options for crossing the yard (mulch can create splinters). However, mulch does disintegrate and get blown away over time. To keep it up, you’ll need to reapply mulch every year or two, which can increase the costs of maintenance.
Groundcovers are any hardy plant that is known for fast growth and staying close to the ground. The right groundcovers take very little water, and spring right back after getting stepped on, making them good replacements for certain lawns. Clovers, mosses, thymes, woodruffs, and many other varieties are usable options. However, you will have to cut groundcovers back to keep them from growing too much.
Looking for more tips on saving money around your home, cleaning up, or avoiding potential problems with your house? Check out our other blogs for more information!