Synthetic grass

Traditionally, a lush green lawn has been the staple of most outdoor landscapes. An enviable grass lawn takes a lot of maintenance time — think watering, fertilizing, trimming and mowing.

Easy ideas that make your yard pop

Looking for some fresh alternatives to grass for your lawn? Check out these clever grass substitutes that will have your neighbors green with envy

Synthetic grass

If you like the look and feel of your grass lawn — but don't care to spend time maintaining it — consider installing synthetic grass. Today's synthetic lawns are amazingly beautiful, with the look and feel of real grass. Synthetic grass is pet-friendly and designed to allow for proper drainage. There are many turf varieties to choose from that replicate the height and color variations of a real grass lawn. To keep your synthetic grass clean, simply rinse with water when needed.

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Clover lawn

Cover it with clover

If your lawn area is not a high-use part of your yard, there are several varieties of clover that make an excellent alternative to a grass lawn. Clover requires no chemical fertilizers to grow, infrequent mowing and is inexpensive to plant. Your clover lawn will stay green even during the driest parts of summer, and the deep root system helps it grow with little to no water. Although it is not as durable as grass, you can sit and walk on your clover lawn without problems.

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Synthetic grass

Put in a patio

Many people have such a large grass lawn that it cuts into the entertaining space they have available in the yard. Why not replace the lawn area with a concrete patio? There are so many options in concrete — think stamped designs, exposed aggregate or stained concrete. Outdoor living spaces have become the new family room, so why not make your yard more usable? If the existing lawn area is quite large, consider replacing part of the outer perimeter with bedding areas planted with perennials or tall grasses. Your concrete area will then be smaller and less expensive to install, plus the planting areas add focus and height to your patio.

Gravel lawn

Go with gravel

Another inexpensive and maintenance-free option is to replace your grass lawn with a gravel area you can use as an outdoor living space. There are several options to choose from, depending on your intended use for the area. Pea gravel is generally an inexpensive option, usually a sandy color and is easy to walk on even with bare feet. Quartzite is similar to pea gravel but white in color. River rock gravel is a gray color and adds nice texture to your space.

Mulch lawn

Got mulch?

A lawn area can be replaced with bark mulch or wood chips as a low-maintenance alternative. Using a landscape fabric as a barrier layer underneath the mulch helps keep weeds to a minimum. Water the mulch and pack it down well to form a flat patio surface. As the mulch biodegrades, you can add more to the top layer. Use flagstone pavers or other large stepping-stones to create a path through the mulch.

How to install turf grass:

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Tags: lawn maintenance

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Comments on "New options for your lawn: Alternatives to grass"

gayle August 29, 2013 | 1:39 PM

Synthetic turf is NOT the answer. High maintenance, impossible to rid your yard of urine smell unless you sprinkler it, water it and brush it with cleansers EVERY DAY.. whats the point??

Ida June 16, 2013 | 3:25 PM

OMG I need help!!! My backyard is awful nothing but weeds n grass. I'm disabled and try to have someone to help me cut this jungle. But I can't find someone all the time . Not only that I live on an fixed income. I went out 2 days ago and tried to cut it myself, big big mistake. I got heat stroke and was unable to get back into my home . I called my neighbor he brought me in my house I thought I was going to die. I've been in bed for the last 3 days. I don't want any grass in my back yard and if I could help it not in my front yard either. My home is small about 1200 sq' but my yard is double that. What can I do I need help desperately before I drop died.:)

Julie July 10, 2012 | 11:14 AM

Excellent tips for the desert wasteland we call Phoenix!

Rosie July 09, 2012 | 12:35 PM

I am all in favor of getting rid of grass and turning the backyard into a functional area that is perfect for hanging out and entertaining. These are all good tips on how to utilize the space in your yard currently covered with boring old grass. Rock gardens, gazebos and fountains also make nice yard displays, and courtyards and basketball half-courts are further ways to go functional while doing away with grass.

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