More and more homeowners are forgoing turf lawns for other solutions when it comes to their front yard. Grass needs a lot of care and fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides washed from the garden too often end up in the drinking water. People are choosing alternatives that are more eco-friendly and sustainable, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Here are four alternatives for a low-maintenance front yard.
Ground covers are plants that grow in masses but never grow tall, which means they do not need to be down. Better yet, some ground covers are shade-loving and will grow in places that most grasses won’t, such as the area under a tree. They also keep down weeds. Ground covers to consider include species of phlox, some of which thrive in deep shade; bellflowers; windflowers and bugleweed.
Though some homeowners recoil at the idea of synthetic turf, advances in technology have made it identical like real grass than ever. Artificial turf needs almost no maintenance and can mimic many varieties of real grass.
Though it takes a bit of planning and will need maintenance, a garden is an excellent alternative to grass. The great thing about a garden is that there are many types to choose from. A homeowner in an arid part of the country where the grass is impractical can choose xeriscaping, which uses plants that do not need a great deal of water. These include plants such as cacti, agave, and other succulents. These gardens are often embellished with gravel and cobbles whose neutral colors look good against the green and gray foliage and spectacularly colored flowers of the plants. The homeowner can contact their local nursery about plant and construction material delivery when the time comes to construct their garden.
Other gardens to consider are ones made of native perennials. These plants not only come back year after year, but the gardener knows they will thrive in the climate and soil conditions where they are planted. Butterfly gardens attract much-needed pollinators, and vegetable gardens in raised beds provide food as well as beauty. You could also grow strawberries in pots as outlined by GardenDIY.
Many homeowners buy ornamental grass seeds, but others wait to see what comes up if they don’t mow their lawn. The latter option may bring a surprising variety of grasses that might be considered weeds in other situations. They include foxtail grass, tall redtop, wild oats, wild barley, and Johnson grass. Cultivated grasses include miscanthus, Sorghastrum, sedges, Japanese blood grass, and dwarf mondo grass. Some species of this grass only grow to 6 inches tall and can be used as ground cover.