If you’re tired of pouring pesticides and water onto your lawn just to keep the grass looking green and weed-free, then you might be a candidate for an alternative.
Today we’re going to check out three grass alternatives that don’t require watering, mowing, or much else in the way of maintenance.
1. Synthetic lawn
The look and feel of real grass, but none of the maintenance. Synthetic lawns don’t grow, don’t need mowing, don’t need cutting, and won’t wear down under heavy use. Most manufacturers offer long-lasting warranties, so once you install your faux grass, you won’t need to worry about it for years to come. You can even get types that are rated for pet traffic (and the other things pets do).
The cost will be prohibitive for many, however. Without even talking installation fees, the synthetic grasses I looked at were on par with hardwood floors (~$5 per square foot), and if you’ve got a decent-sized yard, you’re probably talking about more ground to cover than floors in your house.
2. Xeriscaping and rock gardens
Xeriscaping is landscaping in a way that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation, often using a combination of rockery and drought-tolerant vegetation. While it’s been most popular in dry climates, such as the Southwest U.S., it can be practical any place where you have to water to keep your lawn green.
While hiring a landscape professional to design and install a complete xeriscape lawn for you can be pricey, you can always save money by giving it a try yourself. If you lack the design gene, consider hiring a pro to create the design and then do the installation work yourself.
3. Cultivating a moss lawn
If you live someplace perennially damp, such as the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably spent most of your years as a homeowner trying to get rid of moss in your grass lawn. That’s a bit like being born with curly hair and spending your life going through procedures and daily ablutions to straighten it. Why not go with the flow and let it be what it wants to be?
While moss won’t handle frequent foot traffic as well as grass (it tends to scuff), it doesn’t require any mowing, fertilizer, or much else in the way of maintenance after you establish it. Consider starting with a shady corner and if you like your “moss garden,” expand from there.
Check out Moss Acres to buy or read Moss Gardening for some great pictures and information on creating a no-mow moss yard or garden.