Replace Your Lawn With Sustainable Landscaping
Courtesy of Ching-Fang Chen
Beyond traditional lawn grass
Most American lawns are made up of some form of lawn grass that requires more water and maintenance than ground cover such as ornamental grasses and hardscapes, decorative stones, stones, slates, or pebbles.
If you want to stick to the grass, Diboll recommends a mix of fescue without a lawnmower that works well in both sun and shade and in temperate climates like the Midwest. These options form a soft green grass – the natural version of the shaggy carpet – that only needs little water, no fertilizer and no mowing twice a year.
“If you want hard landscapes like rock paths or stone paved terraces, contact the supplier early to discuss ideas and show them your proposed plan,” says Lak. “You are a great source of knowledge.”
Lak likes to mix decorative stone with ground cover for an affordable, sustainable alternative to a lawn. Native plants usually adapt best. “You have to do your homework to make sure the area you live in will thrive,” he says. “Researching plant material that is suitable for growth [your] Area.”
In hot climates like Florida, Lak suggests replacing grass with plants like sunshine mimosa, perennial peanuts, and beach sunflowers. They thrive in sandy soils where grass barely survives. Perennial groundhoppers like Lantana and Blue Daze spread quickly.
But not everyone is ready to forego the lawn. “A person with a narrow, manicured lawn who lives next to a neighbor who seldom mows and lets blooming weeds or wildflowers grow is likely to think that the ‘wild, carefree’ look makes their own property look bad,” says Lak.
No mow options aren’t about letting weeds take over or growing your traditional grass six feet high. It’s about being thoughtful about nature.