Here’s the thing, in many drought-stricken areas of western America, homeowners are giving up on their lawn maintenance.
With strict water bans or restrictions in action, it makes it impossible for homeowners to keep their grass green or even healthy enough to need to be useful.
In fact, for the sixth year now, California is trying to go as far as offering those who own homes rebates if they just rip out their lawns altogether.
Even in areas where water is not an issue, people are just tired of the time required to maintain the standard American lawn.
Believe it or not, in many areas more than half of the resident’s water is being used in the summer to watering the lawn or even for landscape irrigation, and worse still most of that water is being lost by either run-off or evaporation.
If you are interested alternatives for the traditional American lawn, then here are a few choices for you to consider...
1. Artificial Turf:
Instead of slaving week after week to maintain real grass, why not look into fake grass. Artificial grass has come a long way since the 1960s.
It’s true, nowadays artificial grass lawns are even being mistaken for lawns with real grass.
Pros: In the long run, you will end up saving money due to not having to water or fertilize the lawn. And your lawn will never turn brown.
Cons: Yes, it is true that having an artificial lawn is more expensive to have installed, than having natural grass.
2. Paint the Grass Green:
It’s no secret, when it is hot and dry, the grass will turn brown. Which means the grass is either dead or it is unable to protect itself from the damage heat is causing. In order to resolve this issue one could paint the lawn green by purchasing a lawn paint. Though this is a new way of hacking drought impacted lawns, it is growing in popularity quickly.
Pros: The right lawn or turf paint will not hurt the grass. No need to worry, you can still mow your lawn. There are companies that will spray your lawn for you, but sometimes it is better to just buy the paint and do-it on your own by mixing the paint and water together, then spray it on following the directions on the package.
Best of all, the paint is safe for the pets, and will not rub onto your clothing, shoes, or even the paws of your animals.
Cons: The paint will only last until the grass is mowed away. If you experience multiple droughts a year, you will need to apply paint each time.
3. Rock Gardening or Xeriscaping
When some homeowners get frustrated, they simply remove the lawn and replace it with stone, and drought tolerant plants. A mixture of ornamental grasses, gravel, or even stone chips can be unique and even attractive. A rock garden that is well designed is able to absorb rain which will provide color, and retain the water longer than the traditional lawn.
Pros: This type of lawn requires less weeding and less maintenance. You will not have to worry about fertilizing, mowing or even aerating your lawn. So you will save money and time in the long run.
Cons: However, there is a downside, the rocks and gravel do need to be hauled in and laid down in order to prevent growth of weeds. Furthermore, stonework can be a bit expensive.
4. Native Plants and Meadows
Ditch the lawn by establishing a native landscape. Native plants are diverse and are easily established. Many people opt to establish a prairie type lawn, instead of the traditional lawn.
Pros: Native plants are great for many reasons:
- Native plants are more tolerant to extreme climate swings
- They attract native pollinators and birds.
- Require little to no maintenance
- Provide a diverse range of color and reproduce easily
Cons: Due to invasive species of weeds, having a prairie garden can take some. These species will try to move in if you allow them. After a few years, the flower garden will become maintenance free. Which means it will only require an occasional mowing. The main downside of a natural garden is that most cities do not allow them. There are bylaws that are in place in order to restrict the height of a plant. Usually, this is to avoid the spread of seeds and vermin. However, cities today are relaxing these laws to grant homeowners permission to have natural lawns.
5. Low Maintenance Lawn
If you are not ready to get rid of your lawn entirely, yet still want to cut back on the usage of water then this one is for you. Micro-clover, creeping red fescue, sedges, and white clover drought tolerant grass that can be used to replace the grass on your lawn.
Pros: Low maintenance, or no mow lawns, require less maintenance. Often they use no fertilizer and require cutting only a few times a year. Most importantly these lawns are drought tolerant.
Cons: One downside to this alternative is that the seeds can be hard to locate in stores, however, you are able to locate them online. And perhaps worst of all is weeding taller grasses out of your low maintenance lawn.
What’s the Bottom Line?
As you can see there are several great alternatives to the traditional grass lawn. Each of these methods has amazing benefits, but each also has its cons. Ultimately the decision is up to you, or your lawn care provider. And if you are looking for a lawn care provider you can rely on, look no further than Yourgreenpal.com!
For more info on Drought Tolerant gardens and lawns check out our article How to Maintain Your Landscape During a Drought.,
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Tired of mowing your lawn, or dealing with drought issues?
Here are 5 alternatives to the traditional lawn:
- Artificial Turf
- Paint your lawn!
- Rock Gardening
- Native Landscapes
- Low maintenance or No-Mow lawns
For more information check out this article.