A healthy-looking lawn can add a whole new charm to your backyard. In the early years, lawns were associated with the wealthy and were one of the many representations of the American dream.
Nevertheless, lawns are not simple to maintain; they consume a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, there are many other ways you can use to spice up your yard. In this article, we look at what to use instead of grass in your backyard.
Best alternative to grass in your backyard
Use groundcover plants
One of the best alternatives to grass is using groundcovers. Unlike grass, groundcovers don’t grow very tall; hence they need less mowing and maintenance.
Groundcovers often spread across the garden quickly and help in getting rid of weeds. There are many types of groundcovers you can use for your yard. The one you choose depends on your area’s climatic condition and requirements.
If you live in a sunny, bright area, some of the best groundcovers you can use include Barberry cotoneaster, Japanese sweet flag, and creeping herbs like oregano and thyme.
Groundcovers will enhance the aesthetics of your yard and provide excellent functionality at the same time. In hot and dry climates, it would be best to grow drought-resistant plants. You can also grow groundcovers in shady spots.
Nevertheless, you have to be careful about how you water these groundcovers. Always check if the soil is damp before you start watering groundcovers.
Some of the best groundcovers that can grow in shady areas are lily-of-the-valley and sweet woodruff.
Did you know that Corsican mint is an ideal replacement for grass? Not only does this garden herb smell nice, but it also provides excellent aesthetics. This plant features tiny round green leaves and generates lavender flowers.
In case you didn’t know, mint plants tend to spread rapidly over a large surface area. Hence, this plant can make a good grass alternative.
Nevertheless, note that this garden herb cannot withstand high traffic. The Corsican mint can only handle light footsteps. So, if you grow this plant, avoid stepping on it frequently.
One of the main advantages of this plant is that it can thrive in areas with both high and low levels of sunlight. But you have to use good quality soil when growing the Corsican mint.
Unlike the Corsican mint, creeping thyme can withstand areas with high traffic. This plant only grows up to four inches at most. Therefore, it does not need mowing.
When growing this plant, all you need to do is water it when necessary. Creeping thyme serves as a good replacement for grass. However, you’ll need to take care of it for the best results.
Luckily, this plant needs vert minimal care; in fact, it can survive even when neglected. Moreover, the creeping thyme plant grows in both areas with high and low sunlight.
Instead of growing grass in your yard, consider planting clovers. Clovers are a low-maintenance crop often used as cover crops. They are green, hence providing exceptional aesthetics.
Other than acting as a grass replacement, clovers prevent the growth of weeds in your yard. They block sunlight from penetrating underneath the soil, hence helping you deal with weeds.
Generally, clovers grow fast and have a deep root system. Clovers are simple to maintain since they need water at least two times a week.
Nevertheless, this depends on the environmental conditions of your area. This plant also stays green throughout the year without the need for fertilizers and mowing. However, you have to choose the right clover variety to grow in your yard.
Gardening experts often recommend using dutch white clovers for a lawn. Red clovers also deliver a wildflower look to your lawn.
Have you ever heard of ornamental grasses? As the name suggests, this type of grass is often meant to decorate yard spaces. It produces beautiful grass clamps that surround the lawn area.
The main advantage of growing ornamental grasses is that they require very low maintenance. This type of grass only needs minimal watering. You need not use any fertilizers to foster its growth.
There are many varieties of ornamental grasses. The one you choose often depends on your requirements. One of the best varieties you can grow is fine fescues.
It grows in clumps to create a smooth grass surface. Hence, it resembles a traditional lawn. Another variety you ought to consider is deer grass.
Before settling for a particular ornamental grass variety, ensure it can survive in the climatic conditions of your area. It is always advisable to use warm-season grasses for southern regions and cool-season grasses for northern areas.
Native grass varieties are also not a bad idea since they’ve already adapted to the climatic conditions of your area. Besides, native grasses need very little maintenance.
Always avoid overwatering ornamental grasses. Before watering, it would be best to check whether the soil is damp. Also, set a timer when watering ornamental grass.
Evergreen moss is another plant variety that can last throughout the entire year. This plant requires little maintenance and can grow in all types of soil. Evergreen moss usually provides a soft lawn surface to step on.
This plant needs no mowing, watering, or weeding. All you have to do is plant o and watch it grow. There is a wide range of moss varieties you can use for your lawn. Always choose the one that caters to your requirements.
Typically, gardening experts recommend growing acrocarp varieties; these grow in beautiful clumps. On the flip side, pleurocarp varieties often spread across the area like a green carpet.
Note that different moss varieties offer different green shades. Those that offer emerald hues are very attractive. At the end of the day, the type of moss variety you choose depends on your requirements.
Native Perennial Beds
Native perennial garden beds are also a great alternative to grass. Native plants require minimal maintenance since they have already adapted to the environmental conditions in your area. They offer food for bords, among other organisms. You will have less trouble growing native perennial beds.
Before growing any native plants in place of grass, it would be best to consult a gardening professional in your local area. They will advise you on the best native plants that you can use to create a lawn.
Always go for native plants that don’t need mowing and frequent maintenance. Otherwise, you would spend a lot of time and effort trying to keep your lawn in good condition.
The best thing about native perennials is that they produce year after year. Hence, you need not worry about your garden becoming bare.
Currently, artificial turf is one of the most popular grass lawn options. Artificial turf is undoubtedly beautiful and requires zero maintenance. Artificial turf is eco-friendly and can transform your outdoor space into a premium haven.
The best thing about artificial turf is that you can place it in indoor spaces. It is soft and low maintenance. It requires no watering, mowing, or fertilization.
Additionally, there are many artificial turf options available; hence you can always find the one that caters to your requirements. They come in various shades of green, from emerald green to neon green.
Another advantage of artificial turf is that it is affordable. You won’t have to spend thousands of dollars trying to purchase artificial turf.
The final verdict
From this article, it is clear that lawns make outdoor spaces more inviting. However, creating and maintaining a natural lawn can consume a lot of time and effort.
Luckily, you can use other low-maintenance plant options instead of grass in your lawn; some include evergreen moss, clovers, and creeping thyme. Also, you can create an artificial lawn using artificial turf at a low cost.
Before choosing a replacement for grass, ensure you evaluate your requirements. This way, you’ll choose the best plants for your lawn.