Trade in turf for groundcovers that bring low-maintenance beauty to landscapes.
By Julie A. MartensMore in Outdoors
Swap out your time-consuming lawn with an alternative that’s durable, easy to grow and pretty, too. Many lawn alternative plants are creeping perennial groundcovers that transform a lawn into an eye-catching tapestry of color and texture. Others are native grasses or grass-like plants, such as sedges, that function as a lawn while demanding far less care. Or maybe you’re interested in clover as a lawn supplement, if not alternative.
In today’s environmentally aware world, lawns aren’t perceived as green good guys. For instance, the American lawn guzzles water at a rate that many drought-stricken communities simply cannot sustain. In some areas of the country, replacing turf with alternative plantings qualifies homeowners for a waiver on residential storm water runoff fees that are tacked onto monthly municipal bills.
You might consider replacing portions of your lawn (such as slopes, narrow strips or oddly-shaped areas) simply because they’re a challenge to mow. Substituting a lawn alternative for turf in any of these situations instantly saves you time and money. Replacing only 25 percent of lawn area with groundcover plants yields a time and energy savings of 50 percent in mowing alone. Planting your yard’s mowing-challenged areas with a turf alternative also offers a great way to experiment with groundcovers in a small way before committing to a whole-lawn makeover.