Best Time and Money Saving Alternatives to Grass Lawns

Easier Maintenance Methods for Grass Lawns

Most backyards in North America are the same— covered in traditional green grass. The patch of green grass in the front and back of the house can be a great place for children to play, and for families to gather. However, they come with many disadvantages and little benefits. Caring for the lawn and maintaining it is not only expensive, but it is also time-consuming. Instead of covering our front and back yards with these standard green grass, why not consider other alternatives that are low-maintenance, cost-effective and even environmentally friendly! Read on to find out what alternative options are available for your front and back yards. 

Ground Covers as Alternatives

Deciding to forego traditional grass patches and going for alternatives actually helps to save a lot of maintenance, cost and water. Such alternatives are also more environmentally friendly than the standard grass seed. These alternatives can be referred to as ground covers.

Ground covers spread out across the ground, often not growing past a certain height and thus reducing the need to mow and maintain the grass; making them the perfect alternatives to classic green lawns. Ground covers are often creeping plants that spread quickly, smother weeds and fill out areas without the need to use herbicides or other chemicals. The type of ground cover to use is dependent on the climate you live in and the layout of your home. For bright, sunny areas, you can consider filling your ground with plants like creeping jenny, creeping herbs like oregano, Japanese sweet flag, buffalo glass, flowering meadows, fescue, Asian star jasmine, thyme, etc. Many of these ground coverings are hardy, being able to withstand drought and soaking from stormwater. They are also able to adapt to a variety of soils, from dry, wet to rocky. Such ground covers require little to no maintenance at all and do not need fertilizers to enhance their growth. 

For hot, dry areas, you should go for ground covers that grow fast and are able to withstand droughts. Such plants require only moderate amounts of watering, which can be done with a sprinkler or nozzle when they are first planted. Once they are grown, they need very little water and can even survive fall and winter months with no water at all. If your house does not receive much sunlight, alternatives like perennial ground cover plants like sweet woodruff can still thrive and grow into thick layers of leaves and flowers. Another advantage of such plants that are able to thrive in shady conditions is that they require only low levels of moisture, therefore reducing the need to water them regularly or for garden irrigation. 

Many of these alternative ground covers do not need chemicals and can still thrive in a wide range of conditions. Without chemical fertilizers, they can attract the good kind of insects like bees which will help to remove some unwanted insects and pests. The ground cover can even help to prevent erosion when storm waters runoff, and improve soil quality. Now that we’ve said so much about these alternative ground covers, read on to find out the specific plant recommendations that you can consider for your own home.

Evergreen Moss

Moss can thrive and remain green all year long. It grows well in shade and is able to grow on any type of soil. If you’re looking for an option that does not require much maintenance and upkeep, moss is a great option and it even provides a soft carpet. Moss does not require watering, fertilization, mowing or weeding. You don’t even have to deal with pests. Once you plant the moss, there is nothing else left to be done. Amongst moss, there are a variety of species to choose from for your ground cover. Some acrocarp varieties end up with attractive clumps, while other pleurocarp species grow into a thick, flat carpet. Moss also comes in different shades of green; from pale green shades to deep emerald tones. 


A recommended ground cover option is thyme. Thyme is hardy, being able to withstand light trampling and droughts. It requires little upkeep, and all you need to do is mow it for a little after it flowers. Thymes come in a variety of options. The thymus Vulgaris is most commonly grown and used as a herb, but it can also be utilized as a ground cover with some mowing to keep it at an acceptable height. Thyme grows well in both shady and sunny conditions, on both elevated and flat grounds, on rocks and soil. The flowers of thyme bloom into pretty purple or white flowers, and it gives out a slight fragrance all year round. You can even pluck some off the ground to use it in your cooking!


Clovers are also good alternatives to traditional green grass patches. They are eco-friendly, grow quickly, prevents weeds and nourishes the soil with its deep root system. For families with children, Pipolina clover is a good option as it is short with small leaves, rarely flowering. This means that it will not attract bees and put the kids at risk of getting stung by bees if they run on the ground barefoot. Newly planted clovers require some effort to grow, requiring watering two times a day. Once it is grown, clovers only need little to no watering. It stays green throughout the year even without fertilization or mowing. This makes it a great option for those who are forgetful and lazy since it requires little to no maintenance all year round. There are many clover species available, but the most commonly used one is the dutch white clover.


Now that you know of the alternative options available, it is time to say goodbye to the boring green patches and replace them with these hardy ground covers! With these alternatives, you will be sure to save time, money and effort in the maintenance and upkeep of your front and backyards. What’s more, they are incredibly beautiful and will have your house guests gaping in awe at your new lawn!


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