No doubt about it, grass can be a pain. All throughout the growing season, homeowners fertilize, pull weeds, water religiously, aerate and mow their lawns – all in an effort to keep their grass looking green and beautiful. While some homeowners like their grass because they want a lawn where their kids can play, other homeowners feel the rewards of a green lawn are not quite worth the effort.
There are ways to maintain a beautiful yard without maintaining a yard full of grass. Below are some of the most common ways to landscape a yard without grass. If a grassless yard is your goal, talk to a landscaping professional who can help you explore your options. Your landscape contractor can help you choose a grassless design that will meet your needs.
Install Ground Cover
Ground cover is a category of plant that offers a practical alternative to grass. Many homeowners install groundcover over the slopes in their yard to prevent erosion, or they plant groundcover in the lesser-used parts of their lawn to choke out the weeds. There’s no rule that says you can’t replace your entire lawn with groundcover, if you can find the right kind of plant for your yard. Some common groundcover options in Ohio include:
- Creeping Phlox
- Moss Phlox
- Canadian Wild Ginger
- Bunchberry Dogwood
When you’re choosing a groundcover, be sure to match the needs of the groundcover to the environmental conditions in that part of the yard. If one part of your yard is in full shade most of the day while another part of the yard is in full sun, choose different types of groundcover for each part of the yard. You can break up those sections with natural dividers like pathways, rock beds, rock walls, retaining walls and more.
Have Fun With Mulch
Mulch keeps out weeds and plants while creating a uniform cover for your soil. Wood mulch needs to be replaced or refreshed periodically, as it will deteriorate with time, while rock mulch can be difficult to remove if you ever do decide to get rid of it. Use a weed barrier to protect your soil and prevent your mulch from invading your soil – especially if you’re mulching with rocks.
Add a Deck or Patio
Install a deck or patio over parts of the yard to make the absence of grass seem natural and to create usable yard space. Work with a contractor to plan your deck or patio and integrate it with the surrounding landscape, so it appears to be a natural part of your yard.
Remember that you can install both features (deck and patio) on your property, if you have a large enough yard. Talk to your contractor about what kind of usable space you’re seeking for your property. Are you looking for a place to grill? A place to eat? A place to watch the kids run around on your built-in playground? Know your goals and bring this information to the table when you’re ready to talk to your contractor.
Create an Outdoor Living Space
Take the idea of installing a deck or patio one step further, and install an outdoor living space for your family, including a sheltered outdoor kitchen where you can make food and a dining area for eating, drinking and lounging. If you have enough space, you might even include a living area where you can watch television, enjoy sitting around your outdoor fireplace, and tell stories to family and friends as the sun goes down. No grass grows here, but good times sure do! Work with a landscape contractor and designer to get this set up, as you’ll need a gas line for your grill, electricity for your outdoor lighting and plumbing for your kitchen sink.
Install Artificial Turf
For some people, artificial turf is the perfect alternative to grass. It looks like grass, feels like grass, and functions like grass, and it requires no maintenance. Artificial turf also shades out weeds and acts like a natural weed barrier, so you won’t have to worry about maintaining the soil beneath your artificial grass.
Artificial turf once looked very unrealistic, but now they’ve made grass so realistic that it’s hard to tell the difference. You’ll get all the benefits of real grass, without the maintenance. If you’re not sure whether artificial turf is right for you, ask your landscaper how you can see some samples of types of grass for your lawn.
Shade It Out
Large trees shade grass out naturally, making way for shade-loving ground cover. Large trees take time to grow, but if you’re serious about getting rid of your grass and want to play the long game, talk to your landscaping contractor about installing trees that will look great and thrive on your property.
Install a Water Feature
Water features take up space where grass might have otherwise grown, adding one more beautiful feature to your lawn. You can either install a koi pond or waterfall in your yard, or a full-out water fountain. If you have small children, a water feature may not be the right landscape feature for you. Still, if you like the peace and serenity that comes from installing a water feature, talk to your landscape contractor about ways that you can install a fountain that is not a danger to your children.
Work With a Professional Landscaper
The decision to remove grass from your yard – or to landscape your new construction property without grass – can be a dramatic one. This is a project that’s best done with help from a landscaping contractor with good ideas and experience helping homeowners make their dreams a reality. For more information about how you can make your property live up to its potential without the use of grass, contact Ohio Valley Group today to make an appointment.