There’s nothing quite like a freshly manicured lawn. Every homeowner dreams of enjoying such a majestic reality. However, do you know just how much goes into accomplishing this for yourself and your family? It takes a lot of time, work, and money.
Some of the steps you need to take for simple lawn care are to water, fertilize, mow, weed, trim, dethatch, aerate, and much more. It’s definitely a process. To make matters worse, once you start, if you don’t continue the process to completion, you are looking at something that might look like something similar to a gloomy, abandoned, beat down, unattractive plop of land. No one wants that. And if you are part of a homeowner’s association, forget about it. You will definitely be getting some phone calls. Many homeowners choose to go a different route with their lawn care, deferring from grass altogether.
Here are some of your options if you do not want to use grass for your lawn:
Clover: A low-grade grass alternative, clover is inexpensive, easy to plant, and stays green without the need to water. Another advantage to clover is it may only require mowing a few times a year.
Moss: Moss has the ability to grow in poor or rocky soil conditions. Also, its springy texture can feel like a carpet underneath your feet. While moss may require a more substantial investment upfront, it may afford you years of enjoyments without to need for maintenance. Consult a landscaping professional for the best advice on what type of species of moss fits your yard and climate best.
Ornamental grass: One of the greatest perks of ornamental grass is that it is drought-tolerant.
Gravel: Install a landscape fabric beneath the gravel to prevent weed growth, but using gravel is an excellent alternative to grass if you want rid yourself of yard work entirely. Everything from crushed granite to lava rock to recycled glass, you have a wide variety of options to choose from.
Artificial turf: Faux grass was once commonly used for sports stadiums, Today, it is making its way into home yards and landscapes. Manufacturers have become so good at creating surfaces that are nearly identical to real grass. Although artificial turf does not require watering, it does require the occasional raking as well as infill (a product used to weigh down the turf and provide a layer of cushion). Be mindful that this option is on the more expensive side, coming in at around $25 per square foot of material.
Wildflowers: If you want a more colorful landscape, wildflowers are a wonderful option for you to consider. Before starting your project, do some research to see which flowers are best suited to thrive in your particular climate. This type of landscaping may require annual maintenance.
Ground cover plants: These types of plants spread quickly and require very little maintenance. You will want to do a bit of research first if you choose this option because each plant may require different amount of sunlight to thrive.
When Should I Replant My Lawn?
Depending on the type of lawn you choose, you will need to consider the time of year you begin your project. If you choose something like artificial turf or gravel, you have nothing to worry about as far as timing is concerned. If you choose something that isn’t artificial, pay attention to the season in which you begin your work.
How Do I Remove The Grass I Currently Have?
Start digging: Use a flat shovel to slide under the grass, pulling it up by the roots.
Use a sod cutter: Go to one of your local home improvement stores and rent a sod cutter. This will help you cute your grass into neat, manageable strips. Once you do that, it’s as easy as rolling up a carpet.
Solarize it: Make sure you water your lawn and then cover it with a clear plastic sheet. The sun will do the rest of the work. After a few weeks of direct sunlight, your grass will be dead and ready to be removed.
Try sheet mulching: Cover your soil with a layer of compostable material, such as newspaper or cardboard. Add a compost of mulch of top of that. Since mulching takes several months, it is recommended that you start this process in the fall. Allow your lawn to decompose over the winter. When spring comes, you will be greeted with rich, nutrient-dense soil.