There’s no greater feeling than soft, lush turfgrass under your feet, which explains why many people love having lawns in their yards. However, for others, lawns are a nuisance as the smell of cut grass irritates their allergies and large lawns bring with them the sound of loud lawnmowers or weed whackers in the mornings, plus big bills for maintenance, care and irrigation.
Don’t get us wrong, lawns are beautiful, and for many families with pets or children, they double as alternate play areas or inviting entertaining spaces for outdoor events. Still, upkeep for a lawn can cost a pretty penny and can even damage the environment. For one thing, lawns need frequent mowing, resulting in toxic emissions of gases from motorised gardening tools. Additionally, you’ll have to spend more money or time to keep them neat and under control.
Lawns are great, but sometimes having a low-maintenance, low-cost, lawn alternate can be even greater. That’s why we’re sharing a few options to help you make your yard beautiful without spending a fortune on fertilisers, irrigation or gardeners.
You can’t get any more low maintenance than artificial grass. Trust us, if you get a good quality fake turf, your guests and neighbours won’t even know. This landscaping option requires zero maintenance, is eco-friendly and saves you time, all while still affording you a beautiful yard. Maybe you’ll only need to remove leaves or rinse the surface after windy or unusually rainy periods, but otherwise, this option is the most efficient and cost-effective.
These drought-resistant plants are great for sunny, relatively dry yards where you want the greenery without the cost. Fortunately, these plants don’t spread out like traditional grass, so are easier to control and require little to no water, unlike turf lawns that need lots of water. Some varieties, such as fine fescues, grow closer together and blend into a smooth surface that resembles a traditional lawn. Ornamental grasses are also notorious for being naturally disease- and pest-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about using chemical pesticides.
The word “Xeriscape” is a combination of “landscape” and the Greek word “xeros,” which means “dry.” This method of landscaping promotes water conservation, combining several elements to create one cohesive landscape. The basic principle is to use drought-tolerant native plants and succulents to create a low-maintenance, low-water alternative to natural grass lawns and other water-wasting landscaping options. Some xeriscaping plant options include succulents, cacti, buffalo grass, blue grama grass, turf-type tall fescue and fine fescues.
Another great alternative to having a lawn is to use wood chip mulch in your yard. You can get these at most home and garden stores, and it is relatively easy to set up at home. Any mulch can be a low-cost, low-maintenance, attractive alternative to grass that adds colour to your yard, limits weed growth and helps to control erosion.
Hardscaping is another low-maintenance option that may cost you initially but will save you money once you set it up. This method involves using stones, rocks, pebbles, bricks or other hard surface materials. For example, you can set up a rock garden in a small area with strategically placed boulders and rocks. By using a variety of rocks and gravels in various sizes, textures and colours, you can create a beautiful, inviting outdoor living area that requires little to no water or maintenance. You can even use gravel or pebbles to make a footpath on the ground, which can be both an economical and simple alternative.
So, if you don’t want a large lawn to maintain or weeds to pull every few weeks, using these alternatives can help you create the beautiful landscape you want without breaking the bank.