No mow lawns are gaining a lot of attention and for good reason. In times of drought and increasing water bills, a water-intensive carpet of grass may not be practical. Some homeowners find raising their own organic vegetables where grass once grew a more effective use of space. Others find lawns just too much work and expense, especially when cared for using conventional, fertilizer-and-herbicide methods that result in harmful runoff and other environmental hazards.
Lawn alternatives are gaining in popularity what with the rise of xeriscape gardening and native-plant gardens. Evelyn J. Hadden’s book Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives (Timber Press) makes plenty of arguments for replacing your grass with landscaping rocks and paving stones, with drought hardy indigenous plants, with vegetable gardens, or with shrubs and fragrant mixes of perennial and annual flowers and herbs. But before you plunge ahead, there’s still one important thing to consider… do you really want to get rid of your lawn?
- Eco-Friendly Alternatives to a Grassy Lawn
- Corsican Mint
- Creeping Thyme
- Ornamental Grasses
- Evergreen Moss
- Native Perennial Beds
- Artificial Turf
- Plant Finder
- About No-Mow Lawn
- A Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance Lawn Alternative
- Rainfall Requirements
- Seed Germination
- No Mow Seeding Rates
- Low-Maintenance Turf Grasses
- No mow grass
- Beautiful, No-Mow Alternatives to a Grass Lawn
- 1 White Dwarf Clover
- 2 Stone or Sand
- 3 Creeping Thyme
- 4 Creeping Mazus
- 5 “No-Mow” Fescue (like Hard Fescue Grass)
- Plant a No-Mow Lawn
- 9 of the Best Low Maintenance No-Mow Grasses for Your Lawn
- Benefits of No-Mow Grass
- Types of Low Maintenance Grass
Perfect for backyards, road ditches and golf course roughs! This drought-tolerant mix combines native grasses with a beautiful selection of both annual and perennial wildflowers. Remains green through late fall and will grow to a mature height of 6 to 12 inches — mow once or twice a year, if at all! Apply 3 to 4 lbs. covers 1,000 square feet.
Your friendly Planet Natural Blogger, a firm believer in function over form (but a lover of beautiful form as well), suggests you consider the use of your lawn. Is it a family gathering spot? Do you use it for play and recreation? Do you have children and pets with a need for outdoor activity? Do you like to picnic and just lay out on the grass? For all or any of these reasons (especially that one about children), you have a need for a lawn. But if its just a place to admire, walked on only when you’re mowing? Maybe not.
Hadden herself makes the lawn question one of practicality. “Often these valuable spaces go unused,” she says. “Fitted with a pristine carpet they remain as empty as a formal dining room that gathers dust while the family crowds around a too-small kitchen table. Meanwhile the real living happens in backyards that are crowded with play areas, seating areas, flowerbeds, and vegetable patches, all in less-than ideal sizes and locations.”
The front yard-backyard comparison is a good one. If your kids do most of their playing and roughhousing in the backyard, maybe you should move the flower and vegetable beds to the front where, for whatever reason, your kids don’t play as much. In establishing no-mow spaces it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to go 100%. The front yard-back yard consideration may yield valuable results, one that keeps some patch of lawn where it’s most needed. Remember: half-way is better than no way at all.
Of course, if you’re going to pour lots of chemical fertilizer and herbicide to your lawn, then what’s the point? You wouldn’t want your kids playing there anyway. If you’re going to have a lawn, then you should use good organic practice in caring for it.
But if your lawn is just a pretty (or not so) feature of your landscape that drinks up water and your time, then why not consider expanding your vegetable garden, planting some xeric-efficient native plants or otherwise using the space for something other than grass? Here are some practical tips from Hadden about getting started converting your lawn, not all at once, but bit by bit. You might want to peruse the entire website — it’s a good one — for other tips and plans.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives to a Grassy Lawn
By Linda Ly
Americans have a love affair with sprawling green lawns. Although originally created by European aristocrats in the 17th century as status symbols, today’s lawns are a symbol of the American dream. Unfortunately, they also can be a source of unnecessary burden for homeowners, which has led to a recent, and growing, interest in alternatives to grass in backyards. If you’re looking to cut down (pun intended) on your grass while still maintaining a luscious green landscape, we’ve got some great eco-friendly landscaping options for you!
Groundcovers sprawl across the ground but don’t grow tall, eliminating the need to mow, providing the perfect alternative to grass. This category includes low maintenance plants which spread quickly, smother weeds and fill in pathways.
The climate you live in and the layout of your landscape will ultimately determine which groundcovers will perform best in your yard. If you have a bright, sunny area to fill with groundcover plants, there are a lot of options, including:
- Japanese sweet flag
- Barberry cotoneaster
- Asian star jasmine
- Creeping jenny
- Creeping herbs, such as thyme and oregano
In hot, dry climates, look for fast-growing, drought-tolerant lantana or stonecrop succulents. They require moderate watering with a sprinkler or watering nozzle when young, but need little water once established, and no water in fall and winter months.
Shady areas are no problem. Perennial groundcovers, such as sweet woodruff and lily-of-the-valley, thrive in shady gardens where they grow into thick canopies of leaves and flowers. Shade-loving groundcovers require low levels of moisture, so they can greatly reduce water usage.
This fragrant garden herb not only smells good, but also makes an excellent flowering grass alternative. The small, rounded green leaves act as a lush backdrop to its tiny purple flowers. You may have heard that mint spreads like crazy – but Corsican mint is considered a well-behaved creeper. It won’t take over your entire landscape overnight.
This perennial groundcover does well in low traffic areas, since while it can handle light steps, it won’t tolerate excessive foot traffic. Its flexibility is a bonus as it can be planted in both full sunlight and light shade, as long as the soil is moist and fertile.
Have a lot of foot traffic? Creeping thyme is an ideal groundcover for high traffic areas. Growing only 2 to 4 inches high, this versatile herb requires no mowing, little watering and needs very limited care. Not only can it take a little neglect, it will grow anywhere – full sun, partial sun, full shade – creeping thyme is not picky.
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. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system.
Newly planted clover requires watering twice per but needs little to no watering once it’s established. It’s a groundcover that stays green year-round without fertilization or mowing – the perfect plant-it and forget-it option for your green space.
Dutch white clover is the most common variety for lawn plantings. Love the wildflower look? Check out red clover and yellow blossom varieties (which grow up to 36 inches) – they’re perfect for that “wild pasture” look.
Drought-resistant ornamental grasses grow well in sunny areas with little watering and no fertilization. They’re a popular choice for “no-mow lawns,” since most ornamental grasses produce attractive clumps of grass in sweeping tufts. Some varieties, such as fine fescues, grow closely together and blend into a smooth surface that resembles a traditional lawn. Others, such as deer grass, produce tight bunches that retain their clumped appearance for a unique landscaping texture.
When choosing an ornamental as your grass lawn alternative, be sure to choose a variety that’s appropriate for your area – a cool-season grass for northern regions and warm-season grasses for southern climates. Native grasses are always a good bet since they’ve already adapted to your climate and will generally require the least amount of maintenance.
It’s important not to overwater ornamental grasses. Attach a hose and sprinkler to a timer so you can perfectly regulate the amount of water the area gets based on its need. Once the area has filled in appropriately, trimming will reduce the amount of seeds produced.
Moss remains green all year long, thrives in the shade and grows well in virtually any soil. Providing a soft carpet, moss is a low maintenance option if you’re looking for alternatives to grass lawns that don’t take much work or effort after planting. It requires no mowing, weeding, watering, fertilization or pest prevention – simply sit back and watch it grow.
Most gardeners don’t realize there are many varieties of moss available for groundcover. Acrocarp varieties grow in attractive clumps, while pleurocarp varieties spread out in a thick, flat carpet. Different species provide an endless shade of green, from golden shades of pale green to beautiful deep emerald hues.
Native Perennial Beds
A native perennial bed is a perfect eco-friendly grass alternative. Native plants have evolved with your local ecosystem for optimal survival. They provide food and habitat for local birds, butterflies and bees. Native plants will thrive in your local soil, requiring little fertilization or care.
Ask your local garden center, cooperative extension or native plant society for recommendations on native flowers and shrubs that perform well in your area. For ease of upkeep, you might want to go with plants that don’t need to be pruned and don’t require staking as they grow. While the benefit of perennials is that they produce year after year, the downside is they do need to be divided occasionally to maintain the best health and appearance. Just consider it free plantlets you can spread throughout your garden or give to friends to plant in their own yards.
You can’t get much more low maintenance than artificial turf! With zero maintenance needed, artificial turf has stepped out of the 70s and transformed into a modern eco-friendly landscaping option. It requires no mowing, watering, fertilizing or weed control, and its many varieties are incredibly life like. You have to inspect it very closely to tell it’s not real grass.
With just a little planning and some thoughtful planting, you can create a lush green yard that is eco-friendly and virtually maintenance free, providing you with a gorgeous space to enjoy. And best of all, you’ve got plenty of grass alternatives to choose from!
About No-Mow Lawn
A Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance Lawn Alternative
Prairie Nursery developed the original No Mow Lawn seed mix in 1994 as a sustainable alternative to the traditional high resource-input lawn. A specially designed blend of fine fescue grasses, No Mow forms a lush green carpet of grass in full sun or partial shade.
No Mow lawn is a blend of creeping fescues that interlock with bunch-forming fescues to form a dense sod that withstands moderate foot traffic and inhibits weed growth. The deep roots of the No Mow grasses (up to 9″ deep) enhance drought resistance by reducing water loss and reaching deeper water reserves.
The cool-season fescues grow during spring and fall, when the temperatures are cooler. Because of this cool-season growth, mowing twice a year is a popular approach – once in late spring when the seed heads appear, and then again in fall. The minimum height for mowing is 3.5 – 4 inches. Left un-mowed, the fine fescues in No Mow lay down and form a soft, attractive mat of deep green grass. Once established, No Mow is a slow growing, low maintenance lawn for large or small landscapes.
NO MOW LAWN:
- Establishes Quickly
- Forms a thick flowing carpet of grass
- Reduces mowing to once or twice a year
- Requires little if any watering, once established
- Inhibits weed invasion with its dense root system
- Requires no fertilizers or chemical treatment
- Withstands moderate foot traffic
- Thrives in full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil
5 lb bag: $35.95
- RESOURCES – PDFs:
- No Mow Lawn Seeding Instructions
- No Mow Planting Zones
- Overseeding Your No Mow Lawn
- RESOURCES ON OUR BLOG:
- No Mow Fact Sheet
- About No Mow with Annual Rye (for Erosion Prone Sites)
- Fall Maintenance of Your No Mow Lawn
No Mow is a cool season grass seed mix, recommended for planting in most of the United States (above approximately 37 degrees North Latitude). No Mow is also adapted to the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest, the cooler mountain climates in the east-central states, and in the western mountains from the mid-elevation aspen woodlands to just below timberline.
No Mow thrives in full sun to partial shade, in most soil types and light conditions, and is particularly well suited to growing on dry, sandy or rocky soils with low Nitrogen levels. It is not necessary to use fertilizers on a No Mow Lawn, and we do not recommend it.
No Mow does not tolerate heavy shade or poorly drained clay. It is not recommended for damp soils, or heavy clay soils with less than four inches of loamy topsoil.
No Mow does best in climates that receive annual precipitation of 25 inches or more, with at least half arriving during the growing season. No Mow will not survive extended droughts such as the current megadrought in California and other parts of the western states. No Mow is more drought tolerant than Kentucky Bluegrass, making it an excellent alternative for cool, arid climates. A substantial root system is key to its drought resistance.
Site Preparation is VERY Important. As with any lawn, No Mow needs to be planted on a well prepared site, from which all competing species/weeds have been removed.
No Mow is a cool season grass blend and Fall is the best time to sow. The optimal timeframe is late August through mid-October. Cool season lawns that are seeded in fall experience markedly less weed competition than spring seedings, mature faster, and should form a sod by the end of the following spring.
No Mow can also be seeded in early spring, between March 15 and May 15, but these seedings will experience greater weed competition and usually require more watering as the temperatures rise going into summer. Development of the turf is slower than with fall seedings due to increased competition from weeds.
No Mow seed will generally germinate within 10 – 14 days after the first watering or rainfall event.
No Mow Seeding Rates
5 pounds per 1000 square feet
220 pounds per acre
For Low Maintenance Fields, Orchards, etc:
2½ pounds per 1000 square feet
110 pounds per acre
Areas that are intended to be low maintenance fields rather than lawns can be seeded at one half the normal lawn seeding rate. The No Mow turf will take longer to develop at this lower seeding rate, but will typically fill in to form a sod within one full year.The recommended seeding rate for No Mow is 5 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft., and 220 lbs. per acre.
5 lb bag: $35.95
- Provides a fantastic interesting architectural feature with its undulating appearance
- No mow lawn.
- Wonderful for difficult to mow slopes
- Use in rockeries as a striking groundcover
- Will grow in shadier areas where usual grasses struggle
- Great around the base of specimen trees in a courtyard
- Fantastic between pavers forming a low growing, green mat that softens the hardscape
- Perfect for green roofs or rooftop gardens
- The low gentle mounding effect suits Japanese style gardens.
- Low maintenance is great for commercial areas
- In pots or garden beds as an alternative living mulch.
There are some reports of Zoysia tenuifolia not being good for traffic as it is so slow in growing. The issue is usually the poor quality of the media in which the plants are growing. When established in a good depth (100-200mm) of quality, friable media, the plants handle moderate traffic well, actually becoming lower and denser with pressure making it an ideal alternative lawn for average household use.
Due to the slow growth rate, growing Zoysia tenuifolia from pots or plugs can take a long time to achieve total coverage and you may have to undertake weeding between the plants.
This is where our Plant Tiles work wonderfully as we have done the hard work for you. No digging holes and waiting for pots to grow together. You can just place the Plant Tiles next to each other on your prepared media to achieve instant full coverage!
The Plant Tiles are only 22mm in depth so will require frequent small waterings until the roots penetrate the media on which they are placed. A fertiliser such as Seasol is useful to encourage root growth. Once established, water more deeply and less frequently.
A lawn might be lovely, but it takes a lot of hard work to make it so; you’ve got to mow, weed, thatch, reseed, aerate. Then repeat. If you’d rather spend more time enjoying the outdoors instead of working on it, switch to one of these low-maintenance grasses.
As a bonus, you’ll also save on your water bill because these alternatives use less water.
Low-Maintenance Turf Grasses
If you need grass for kids or pets, consider new “miracle” cultivars or blends. UC Verde Buffalo Grass, for example, delivers lush, silky blades that require little or no water once established, rarely need mowing, and need no fertilizer or pesticides. The secret to these grasses are long (but noninvasive) roots and thin blades. Make sure you get the right fescue, or grass, blend for your soil type and growing zone.
“No Mow Lawn Mix” is great for open, sunny swaths where native prairie grasses once grew, such as the cooler, medium-rainfall areas of the upper Midwest, Northeast, and Pacific Northwest. And hardy Eco-Lawn thrives even in difficult spots, such as under spreading trees or in clay soils.
The cost of growing these blends from seed is comparable to that of conventional grass seed. No Mow Lawn Mix, for example, costs $3.75 to $5.95 per pound; you need five pounds per 1,000 square feet, which translates to about 2 cents per square foot. Planting grass from plugs is more expensive; you’ll need at least one or two plugs per square foot, at a cost of about 50 cents per plug.
Sedge: One of the most exciting breakthroughs in turf concepts in recent years has been the development of sedge lawns. Sedges look a lot like conventional turf but have more in common with native grasses that existed in America before sod-busting development and agriculture. The great thing about them is that they require little or no mowing, fertilizing, or chemicals. Some require less water than many conventional turf grasses. Others tolerate wet, moist areas, and many thrive in shade.
Ornamental grasses: This term covers both grasses and grass-like plants, such as sedges. For our purposes, we’re talking low-water, native grasses. Low to medium-height species can be used en masse as meadows. Tall ones function as vertical elements in a landscape. Check with your local extension service to find out which kinds are native to your area. What might be native to one region, such as pampas grass, may well be invasive in another.
Synthetic grass: Synthetic grass is starting to get some respect, thanks in part to increasingly urgent water restrictions in parts of the country, and because new versions are so amazingly lifelike. Synthetic turf requires zero water or mowing, which does wonders for your carbon footprint. The grass looks perfect — and perfectly real — and is suitable for either an expansive play area or a little jewel box of a garden nook, particularly where nothing else will grow.
On the downside, lawns made of petrochemical plastics can feel stifling in hot weather and offer no habitat for birds or insects. Some communities have protested the use of synthetic turf in institutional landscaping like school soccer fields, amid health concerns that the recycled-tire crumbs used as infill to provide drainage and keep blades from matting contain high levels of toxins.
While synthetic turf has little or no ongoing maintenance costs, it’s about twice as expensive upfront as conventional turf. Basic installation averages $6.50 per square foot, according to SyntheticGrassUSA.com, versus about $3.80 a square foot for the real thing.
Related: Replace Your Lawn With a Gorgeous Ground Cover
No mow grass
Scientific name Zoysia tenuifolia
Common name Zoysia
Other names (PBR name, trademark, breeder code) Temple grass, Kourai grass, Korean/Japanese velvet grass, Mascarene grass. Referred to as Zoysia pacifica (scientific name) in some recent US publications. Minimow
Description No mow grass is a fine-textured zoysiagrass that can be mown to provide a dense turf surface or left unmown to provide a landscape feature (ground cover); the latter is more common. If left unmown, the dense grass can gradually grow to a height of about 10 cm producing a undulated “puffy” appearance.
Other comments A benefit of zoysiagrass is that it is less common to see attacks by army worm and sod web worm. The high fibre and lignin present within the leaf blades, which also assist for wear tolerance, make it tough for such attacks. To put it simply, the foliage is “too” tough and unfavorable for chewing moutparts of such pests. Pests, diseases and weeds Check to see which Pests, Disease and or Weeds this turf variety may be susceptible to and how to successfully control them in your home lawn or sports turf.
Review compared varieties
Beautiful, No-Mow Alternatives to a Grass Lawn
While a green, well-manicured grass lawn is a source of pride for many homeowners, it requires a lot of upkeep—not to mention harsh chemicals, fertilizers, weed killers, and water. If you want to stop spending your weekends mowing and mixing up all-natural homemade weed killers, or you live in a drought-prone area with water restrictions, don’t worry, there are some great alternatives to a grass lawn. To find replacements that are both beautiful and low-maintenance, we consulted the pros at Tilly, an online landscape design company, for their top picks.
According to Blythe Yost, Tilly’s co-founder and head landscape designer, the biggest mistake homeowners make when forgoing a grass lawn is not creating clear edges or boundaries, which can look disorganized. “However, there is no reason your lawn has to be a 3-inch field of Kentucky Blue mown weekly and treated with fertilizers and herbicides,” she assures us. Here are five easy-to-care-for alternatives to a grass lawn that are sure to step up your home’s curb appeal.
RELATED: Stop Believing These Lawn Care Myths—Try These Tips Instead
Image zoom masahiro Makino/Getty Images
1 White Dwarf Clover
“There are any number of low-growing perennials that can be a great stand-in for lawn,” says Yost. Choose the right type of ground cover for your area, keeping in mind your hardiness zone, the light conditions in your yard, and the type of soil you have.
One great option is white dwarf clover, which grows best in part shade or full sun and moist soil, and is known for its dense green leaves and small white flowers. “It should be seeded initially on well-groomed topsoil and might require yearly over-seeding to keep it dense and deter weeds,” adds Yost.
Image zoom Johner Images/Getty Images
2 Stone or Sand
“A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses can provide the same sense of negative space as a classic lawn, with none of the chemical requirements,” says Yost. There’s no mowing or fertilizing required, but there is some (very minimal!) maintenance: “the space should be raked out periodically to keep the surfaces fresh.”
Pro tip: When installing a stone or gravel area, use a geotextile fabric barrier, which will help reduce weed growth to make sure your gravel yard, patio, or pathway stays as low-maintenance as possible.
Image zoom Getty Images
3 Creeping Thyme
Another ground cover alternative to traditional grass, creeping thyme is a densely-growing evergreen that’s hardy in zones four through nine (find your zone here). Not only will you never have to mow creeping thyme, but it’s also deer-resistant, thanks to its minty scent. Creeping thyme thrives in moist (but not wet) soil, and it produces pretty purple flowers to add a bit of color to your yard.
Image zoom Great Garden Plants
4 Creeping Mazus
Another hardy ground cover option that can survive some trampling, creeping mazus is an attractive grass alternative for small areas, such as in between stepping stones or a small patio area. It grows just two inches high (so no mowing required!) and can spread up to 24 inches within the first two years. Plant this ground cover in sun or part shade and it will grow into a lush mat with white flowers that bloom in late spring.
Image zoom Getty Images
5 “No-Mow” Fescue (like Hard Fescue Grass)
Want to mow the lawn only once or twice a year? With no-mow hard fescue grass, it’s actually possible. While fescue is often included in typical lawn mix, opting for an all-fescue lawn won’t require chemical fertilizers or weed killers—it’s so densely growing, it naturally chokes out weeds. Yost says it also requires little to no watering, making it an ideal alternative for those who want to reduce the amount of water their household uses.
Plant a No-Mow Lawn
Creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra). Native from Canada to Mexico on the West Coast, Canada to Georgia on the East Coast, Europe, and North Africa. Grows to 3 feet tall as a meadow grass, or can be mowed for use as a turf grass. It’s most drought tolerant when young; as it ages, thatch makes it less so (dethatching corrects the problem). Give it full sun or partial shade, little to moderate water. Seed only. Does well in zones A2, A3, 1–10, 14–24.
Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra commutata). Native to Europe, this grass tends to come in more densely than creeping red fescue. Grows 3 feet tall as a meadow grass, or can be mowed for use as a turf grass. Give it full sun or partial shade, little to moderate water. Seed only. Does well in zones A2, A3, 1–10, 14–24.
Tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa). Native from Alaska and Canada south to Northern California on the West Coast and North Carolina on the East Coast; also Eurasia and Greenland. Grows 1 to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide, and produces clumps of dark green leaves. Airy inflorescences, which appear in late spring or summer, start green and fade to straw color; they can reach 4 feet. Give it full sun or partial shade, regular water (it can grow in damp meadows). A good meadow grass in zones 2–24.
Pacific hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa holciformis). Native from British Columbia to Monterey Bay. Grows 1 to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, and produces clumps of very dark green leaves. Inflorescences are narrow, coarse, and straw-colored. Give it full sun or partial shade, little to abundant water (it can take marshy or brackish locations). Best garden subject in zones 4–9, 14–24.
Meadow grasses generally grow slowly and never get very big. That gives weeds an opening, so weed control is the biggest challenge in establishing a meadow. There are several ways to go about it.
Sod If you plant meadow-grass sod, it will smother weeds below.
Remove plugs from their sleeves; water well. Plant plugs about 8 inches apart. Use corn gluten, a pre-emergent herbicide, or hand-pull weeds until grass fills in.
Topsoil Turf consultant Fred Ballerini prepares his site, then covers it with about 3 inches of clean (weed-free) topsoil before planting plugs. He doesn’t till the topsoil in, since that would just bring weed seeds to the top.
Pregermination You can eliminate lots of weeds by preparing the site, then watering and waiting a couple of weeks. Weeds will quickly spring up. When they’re a couple of inches tall, till them in or hoe them off, then repeat the process. After the second round, plant your grass plugs. You’ll still get a few weeds, but not nearly as many.
Preemergence herbicide Corn gluten is a good preemergence herbicide that feeds the new plugs (it’s about 10 percent nitrogen) and inhibits the growth of sprouted weed seeds. It’s a natural product (a byproduct of the manufacture of cornstarch).
FEEDING AND WATERING
Most kinds do fine with 2 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet annually, and about half the water of a conventional lawn.
Sources: Native plant nurseries; High Country Gardens for buffalo grass and blue grama plugs. Some sod dealers sell sod of blue grama and buffalo grass.
Design: Michelle Comeau Landscape Design, Carmel, CA (831/620-0111) for Eric and Greta Miller, Pacific Grove, CA; turf consultant Fred Ballerini.
More front yard alternatives: Lose your lawn
9 of the Best Low Maintenance No-Mow Grasses for Your Lawn
A neatly manicured lawn no doubt speaks volumes about the painstaking effort put in by its owner behind frequent mowing. But, what if it’s all about grasses that do not need mowing? In comparison to options like buffalo grass that requires regular mowing, these are healthy alternatives and are great in saving your water bill too, not mention being more environment-friendly.
No Mow Grass
Benefits of No-Mow Grass
- Economic: As it needs less water and fertilizers, a significant amount can be saved.
- Environment-friendly: Running a gas lawn mower for 1 hour emits an equal amount of pollutants as a car does after driving for 100 miles. So, when you have low- or no-mow grass, you do not use the mower as much, which ensures lower carbon dioxide emission, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.
Types of Low Maintenance Grass
1. Korean Velvet Grass
No-Mow Grass Korean Velvet
Growing Conditions: Ornamental grass with a slow growth rate, requires less water, fertilizer, and thatch. Plant grass plugs in loam soil in spring, summer, fall or winter
Mowing Need: Once or twice a year
Places Fit for its Growth: Verges, slopes, and courtyards
2. Low-Mow Fescues or Bentgrass Blends
No Mow Grasses
Growing Conditions: Slow growing, tolerates shade and does well in poor soil. Grows well with hard freezes, up to 3 to 6 inches, while the southern version is designed for hot, dry areas
Mowing Need: Once in a month
Places Fit for its Growth: Lawns and meadows
3. Dwarf Mondo Grass (Type of Monkey Grass)
No Mow Grass Images
Growing Conditions: Both heat and drought resistant and opposes weed invasions; plant seeds in sterile potting soil and keep the pots in a cold frame as these seeds germinate best in cooler temperatures
Mowing Need: No mowing
Places Fit for its Growth: Garden paths, borders, and in between pavers or stepping stones
4. Eco Grass Blends (containing rugged and fine fescue seeds)
No Mowing Grass
Growing Conditions: Can grow in full or partial sun as well as in full shade; Drought and disease resistant, reduces weed infestations, requires little watering or fertilizing
Mowing Need: Little or no mowing and maintenance
Places Fit for its Growth: Steep hillsides and areas near streets
No Mow Grass Pictures
Growing Conditions: Does not require any fertilizers, thriving in both moist and dry areas. Planting is done in spring, fall, or winter.
Mowing Need: No mowing other than in spring
Places Fit for its Growth: Lawns
Grass No Mowing
Growing Conditions: Stays well in both sunlight and partial shade. Needs no fertilizer. Sow seeds in spring when night temperatures are consistently higher than 40° F. Let the soil remain moist until germination.
Mowing Need: No mowing
Places Fit for its Growth: Lawns; but this one too cannot handle extensive running or playing
Growing Conditions: Low growing, needs very little water and no fertilizers. Plant in spring after the last frost and keep it moist for the first three weeks.
Mowing Need: No mowing
Places Fit for its Growth: Lawns (take care to add a flagstone walkway since it is not suitable for heavy foot traffic)
8. Carpet Grass
No-Mow Carpet Grass
Growing Conditions: Plant it on a smooth and loose seabed in between mid-April to May. The area should be kept moist for the first two weeks after sowing. The perennial grass with a thick sod helps to eliminate weeds.
Mowing Need: Mowing required only in summer
Places Fit for its Growth: Lawns; perfect for heavy foot traffic
- Go for artificial or synthetic grass that needs even less care.
- Have ground covers if you intend to avoid the cost of extensive lawns.
- Select aqua plants like Java Moss if you plan to keep an aquarium in your lawn.
In today’s busy world, when we hardly have time to execute our daily needs, products like these seem like a blessing. After all, we all prefer a relaxed and enriched life. Hence, cultivate no-mow grasses in peace and rejoice long moments of complete leisure.