New and Green: Alternatives to Grass in the Garden

Grass alternative
Do you want a beautiful lawn? Try drought-tolerant lawn alternatives.

What’s your water budget? Did you know that up to a third of America’s residential water use goes to lawns every year? If drought has your lawn feeling brown, you can plan for the new season by installing a grass alternative. These zero-grass lawns will make your garden look beautiful and reduce the need for you to water your lawn.

Alternative, Drought-Tolerant Grasses

There are many alternatives to the traditional lawn grasses, and these alternatives will still give you turf to look at and enjoy for recreation. Zoysia Grass is good with foot traffic and has several drought-resistant varieties, such as El Toro and Palisades. Bermuda grass loves sunlight and is also tough enough to withstand foot traffic. Buffalo Grass loves full sun but is best in areas with less foot traffic. Fescues are cool season grasses that bounce back easily after a drought.

If you’d like green in the depths of summer, consider adding a non-grass alternative to your lawn. The clover that you’ve tried to remove from your lawn in the past is actually an alternative lawn that stays green even in drought. Thyme plants grow slowly, but they’re drought tolerant and stay green throughout the summer months. Both of these alternatives are less hardy to foot traffic than grasses.

Grass alternative
Consider drought-tolerant lawn alternatives like thyme and clover.

Growing Green and Grass-Free

If you’re not as worried about having a lawn for the children to play on, consider creating a grass-free living area instead. If you’d like to have a place to eat outdoors, consider adding gravel with drought-tolerant shrubs instead of adding a completely green groundcover. If you love gardening, turn to edible landscaping plants instead of growing grass, so that you’re watering your lettuce rather than your grass leaves. You can still incorporate flowers and greenery into your garden, but be more judicious about your plant choices.

Finding Water

Of course, any lawn alternative will still need water. If you’re in a drought, what can you do? Adding a rain barrel to your garden can help, especially if you don’t have a wide expanse of lawn to water. If you water, do so in the early morning so that the water has some time to sink into soil before the heat of the day burns it off. This will help keep your lawn plants healthier, they’ll retain more moisture and will also live longer.

When you’re renovating your garden, you can plan your garden landscape to move water to the places that need it. For example, when you’re doing a new gutter installation, direct the runoff to your lawn or place the lawn area where your children play at the bottom of a hill under a tree so that water that falls will gradually run down onto the lawn that is well-shaded by leaves.

When you’re looking for innovative and time-saving garden alternatives, contact Harry Helmet. Our Gutter Guard and Helmet Heat products make your gardening life simpler by reducing the amount of time you need to spend cleaning your gutters, especially during the fall and winter months. Spend less time worrying about gutters and roof leaks and more time enjoying your garden with Harry Helmet.

Written by Del Thebaud

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