10 Easy Alternatives to a Grass Lawn
Lush green lawns have long been the anchor of outdoor landscaping. However, with today’s focus on protecting our natural resources (and reducing maintenance), many homeowners are choosing alternatives to grass lawns.
Mulch comes in a variety of materials, which allows for creative landscape designs using different textures and colors. Mulch provides additional benefits as one of the alternatives to grass lawns such as moisture retention, weed control, protection against erosion, heat retention and protection of root systems. If the yard is being landscaped with features such as flower or rock gardens, mulch is ideal for creating pathways throughout the yard. The types of mulch include wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles and straw mulch. Another alternative material is rubber mulch made with recycled tires. It is long-lasting, permeable and doesn’t attract bugs.
Moss as a ground cover is the perfect solution for shady lawns as well as lawns with poor soil. The two key ingredients for growing moss are moisture, a two-minute watering daily, and daylight, but not direct sun. For yards that are heavily shaded, moss is both practical?needs no mowing?and provides aesthetic value. Moss does not produce flowers, seeds or establish true roots. It is a cover-like mat of stems and leaves, which absorbs nutrients and water. Moss grows very well with other perennials that thrive in the shade such as hostas, trilliums and ferns.
Flower and Shrub Beds
Visions of flowers blooming and gently bending in the breeze evokes an atmosphere of peace and serenity. This scene can be yours with a colorful garden meadow. There are two types: perennial and annual. Perennial meadows blossom from year to year and annual meadows produce once per year. Both are excellent alternatives to grass and put on a display of color for many months. Planting is recommended in mid-spring or early autumn in sunny areas. While annual meadows need a rich soil base, perennial meadows do well in poor soil. Wildflowers are available as a mixture of assorted seeds or as individual plants.