After they’re established, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often. We recommend these plants for Guelph’s climate and soil conditions. (Photo: Donna Griffith). For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … CanPlant is a helpful resource with a database to identify ecologically appropriate native plant species. If you have a shady backyard, a full-sun front yard might present the perfect growing conditions. “Curly parsley or Greek basil are super compact and can be added to flower pots for visual interest and summer-long harvesting,” she adds. Finally, for those who are not quite ready to get rid of their lawns but still want to cut back on their water use, there are lots of options to mimic the look of soft grass but with a fraction of the maintenance. Use fluid materials such as gravel. As I went down the alternative rabbit hole, I learned that once the new lawn has been established, a wide variety of plants, such as mosses, sedges, clovers and other wildflowers can essentially take care of themselves. Fescues and ryegrasses are not as soft as turf grass, and while clover is soft, it can also flower and attract bees. They have bylaws in place restricting plant height, usually to avoid seed spread, and deter vermin. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. Planting flowers, of course, attracts a variety of pollinators, from bees to birds to butterflies. Videos for Lawn Alternatives. When a lawn turns brown in the hottest, driest days of summer, it can mean one of two things: either the grass has gone dormant to protect itself, or it’s just plain dead. More and more homeowners are ripping up turf in favour of plants and wildflowers that grow with almost no help at all. Dry gardens made of any combination of stone chips, pea gravel, ornamental grasses or succulents can make for a unique and attractive alternative to grass or tarmac. A few options to consider: Creeping thyme. In my 1,000-square-foot backyard, I planted golden carpet sedum (Sedum acre, Zones 3–8, top left photo, facing page), a creeping variety that is only 4 inches tall. As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. (For the most part, you need six to eight hours of sun a day for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.) Ask for recommendations at your local garden centre. A tomato with obelisk. Lemon thyme’s lemony flavor is perfect for fish, and woolly thyme makes a delightfully … Lilyturf. Others have raised concerns about the safety of the turf material and the black “crumbs” sometimes used to hold the lawn down, though no studies have proven the turf present a health hazard. 8 Low-Growing Perennial Groundcovers. There are eco-friendlier alternatives of grass seed blends you can sow if you’d still like to feel that soft, cool carpet under your feet on a hot summer day. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. Gravel is another alternative to grass lawn. We do not want to plant grass due to maintenance. Overburdened sewer systems can sometimes spell bad news for basements as the excess water has nowhere else to go, and aging infrastructure fails. The solution could lie in a simple bottle of paint. List of the Best Perennial Flowers. Want to switch up your lawn? Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable … Imagine ditching a monochrome green lawn for a field of flowers that attracts bumblebees and butterflies and is sustained only by the sun and the rain. But many of these problems can be managed with regular mowings. Prong recommends consulting a professional to assess the property and making sure a plan is made where the water is being conveyed the way it needs to. We have a large area of dirt (4 thousand square feet) that is needing coverage. Artificial grass never requires mowing or weeding, lasts 15 years or longer, and can be kept clean with a garden hose or even a vacuum. Many a frustrated homeowner has thrown up their hands at a dying lawn and declared: “I’m just going to pave over the whole thing.” True, paving is an option, but there are more visually appealing hardscaping options as well. (Liriope muscari) Commonly called liriope, this evergreen ground cover features dark green … regions on Monday, Calgary man arrested, accused of defying COVID-19 guidelines, Ontario will enter province-wide lockdown as of Christmas Eve, sources say. A dry river rock bed, for example, will divert water off the property, filtering some along the way, so not as much ends up in the sewer system. Clover – White clover (Trifolium repens) is a fast-growing, rapidly spreading creeper that reaches a height of four to eight inches. If you’re rethinking the wisdom of growing lawn grass, there are several low-maintenance groundcover alternatives that will actually allow you to enjoy your summer weekends. While there will always be those who enjoy lovingly tending to their lawns, many Canadians are likely wondering why they bother devoting their weekends to the whims of their yards. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. With drought-like conditions across Western Canada, keeping your lawn lush and green can be a real pain in the grass. Sedum acre (stonecrop) is also sold as a lawn alternative to grass, but this can quickly spread to other parts of the garden, so is best avoided. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). Mike Prong, owner of Fern Ridge Eco Landscaping in Milton, Ont., says rain gardens are a great low-maintenance option that allow you to see where the water is moving. Some choices, such as clover, actually add nitrogen to the soil, thereby eliminating the need to fertilize the grass around it. Low-growing groundcovers are perfect lawn alternatives. Some savvy green thumbs will build tidy rows of raised beds in lieu of a lawn. The downside of “natural gardens” is that many cities simply don’t allow them. Homeowners concerned about flooding or who have experienced wet spots in their basement may want to consider having a rain garden—a design that works with your property’s conditions to capture water in the front yard. There are so many ways to alter your landscape in … Choosing the right mix of grasses and groundcover helps prevent weeds and pests. Tuck in a tomato with an obelisk overtop, and it will blend right in as an ornamental specimen. In the American West, many homeowners are simply giving up on their yards. Summer brings hot sunny days—and the odd deluge. Here are some ideas to keep things interesting in the front yard. You don’t want to encounter them yourself. And you definitely don’t need to water grass when it goes dormant during hot, dry spells. Microclover. While there will always be those who enjoy lovingly tending to their lawns, many Canadians are likely wondering why they bother devoting their weekends to the whims of their yards. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides. A colourful and diverse alternative to traditional grass lawns. Full sun; Part shade; Less work, less water. Companies that will do the lawn spraying for you are sprouting up across the country, but do-it-yourselfers can also buy the paint concentrate, mix it with water and spray it themselves. 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There are many advantages for using these materials that include color and texture variety, availability, price range from inexpensive to high-end and durability. “Setting a bee bath in the garden helps keep them hydrated so they can keep up the busy job of pollinating your garden while you sip a cool drink and enjoy the show.” Rose explains that a bee bath is simple to make by placing a plant saucer or ceramic dish on an overturned plant pot, adding some water, and then setting river stones so the tops come just above the waterline, as a perch for bees to safely drink without falling in. But there are landscaping companies happy to help and the costs of switching over to a dry garden quickly pays for itself from the money saved by never needing to water or mow again. Lawn Alternatives: Groundcovers. The paint is made of a non-toxic, vegetable-based dye that is water-resistant and binds to the grass for 12 weeks or more. We hope they are helpful! It can feed you and your family, and maybe generate some extra income if you decide to sell your produce. Sometimes referred to as "natural landscaping" or "xeriscaping," lawn alternative landscaping often includes elements like decorative grasses, flower and shrub beds, and mulch. Tara Nolan is the author of Gardening Your Front Yard and a co-owner of SavvyGardening.com. The stones can also get hot under the mid-day sun and are likely not a practical option for families with small kids. When a lawn turns brown in the hottest, driest days of summer, it can mean one of two things: either the grass has gone… The downside is that it can be labour-intensive to establish a hardscape garden, as the rocks and gravel need to be hauled in and landscape fabric needs to be laid down to stop the growth of weeds. Clover is an easy-to-care-for lawn alternative that’s often planted as a green cover crop to fix nitrogen in the soil, but it can also act as an ideal eco-friendly landscaping option. "A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses … With stringent water bans in place, it’s all but impossible to keep grass green. But for the look of a lawn with none of the expense and headache, artificial grass is proving to be a popular alternative. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Sweepstakes; Newsletter; TV Schedule; Shows A-Z; Be On DIY; Features A-Z; How-Tos A to Z; Ways to Watch DIY Network; DIY Network Family. One helpful tip is to look for plants that are native to your region. An excellent green alternative for the cottage, clover is a weed you want: it has deep roots and doesn’t require much watering. But giving up some or all of your grass to plant native species will help to nourish and shelter smaller creatures, like birds, toads, snakes, beneficial insects, etc. And eco-minded homeowners, realizing what a waste it is to water grass when you could devote your time to nurturing a garden that attracts beneficial insects and wildlife, have advanced the idea of getting rid of grass altogether. The downsides of these grass alternatives is the seeds are often hard to find in stores, but can be ordered online. The selective weedkillers we use on lawns seek out and kill broadleaved (or dicotyledonous) plants only, which is why they don’t kill grasses. alternativelawn . Nov 4, 2017 - Explore Sage Gardens's board "Lawn Alternatives", followed by 178581 people on Pinterest. Even roses have gotten a makeover in recent years, with new varieties hardy down to zone 3 or 4, (that is, many parts of Canada) and greater pest and disease resistance. LawnLift, the biggest lawn paint distributor in Canada says its product dries quickly, is safe for pets, and will not rub off on shoes, clothes or paws. (Photo: Bushel and Berry). If there are certain challenges you face on the property—salt, deer, drought, a black walnut tree—there are plants that can survive being planted in those areas. Doug Tallamy, author of Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard believes “private properties are an opportunity for long-term conservation if we design them to meet the needs of the life around us.” Now that doesn’t mean you have to roll out the welcome mat for urban raccoons. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. HGTV Sites. “Just like us, bees need food and water,” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Garden Alchemy. Updated April 6, 2020, Pot of blueberries. Establishing a prairie garden can take a bit of work, as invasive weed species will try to move in. the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Lawn paint is fairly new but already proving popular. Either way, the result is a sad landscape that many homeowners can’t stand to look at. More and more gardeners are filling their front yards with a riot of blooms, a few vegetable plants, or even a rain garden (more on that in a moment). 11-year-old dies after falling through ice in Milton, Ont. On this page. Clover. There are now even landscaping companies in the state that will pull up homeowners’ lawns and install alternative materials, in exchange for cashing in the rebate money and handling all the paperwork. This lawn alternative is more than just decorative. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped with this shift a few years ago. 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