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. The summer has only just begun, but already communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta are in the midst of drought and appealing to homeowners not to waste water maintaining their lawns. List of the Best Perennial Flowers. But for the look of a lawn with none of the expense and headache, artificial grass is proving to be a popular alternative. Clover is often planted by gardeners as an eco friendly soil conditioner. SKU. 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. Lemon thyme’s lemony flavor is perfect for fish, and woolly thyme makes a delightfully … CanPlant is a helpful resource with a database to identify ecologically appropriate native plant species. 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. Tuck in a tomato with an obelisk overtop, and it will blend right in as an ornamental specimen. 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. Sweet woodruff is an edible herb, said to taste something like vanilla, and it gives … 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. 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. 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. It might be hard to imagine what you would have instead of a lawn but there are all sorts of creative alternatives. There are so many ways to alter your landscape in … The downside of “natural gardens” is that many cities simply don’t allow them. Lawn alternative (Question) I’m looking for a sort of lawn alternative. Be sure to consult with a landscaping professional before undertaking any major work on your property, especially if you are looking to change the slope or grade in any way. It creates nitrogen, enriching the soil and helping other plants grow stronger. A few options to consider: Creeping thyme. 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. Lilyturf. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. Low-growing thyme forms a beautiful and deliciously scented mat to cover large areas. You would be hard pressed to find a thirstier water guzzler than a patch of grass. this wildflower and grass mix is great for the environment and also eco-friendly. An excellent green alternative for the cottage, clover is a weed you want: it has deep roots and doesn’t require much watering. In order to help you make your decision and also present other alternative options for a traditional lawn, check out these two videos below. Establishing a prairie garden can take a bit of work, as invasive weed species will try to move in. Full sun; Part shade; Less work, less water. That’s not to say that having grass is bad—it’s way better than concrete, trapping dust, reducing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen. White flowering clover makes a good lawn alternative and attracts plenty of pollinators. 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. Overburdened sewer systems can sometimes spell bad news for basements as the excess water has nowhere else to go, and aging infrastructure fails. Feds weigh response to new COVID-19 strain amid call to ban travel from U.K. What we know about the U.K.'s new novel coronavirus variant, More EU nations ban travel from U.K., fearing virus variant, Winnipeg man in his 30s among 13 new COVID-19 deaths reported, NHL will return for shortened season on Jan. 13, 'It's not a mistake': Server tipped $1K by anonymous couple, Avalanche rescue dog races snowboarder down Colorado hill, Stunning natural ice sculptures form along Lake Ontario. But many cities are now relaxing these laws to grant certain yards “natural garden” status. Above: Clovers and a mix of wildflowers turn turf into a meadow. 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. 11-year-old dies after falling through ice in Milton, Ont. And you definitely don’t need to water grass when it goes dormant during hot, dry spells. And with all the compact varieties of tomatoes, peas, melons, etc., there’s no excuse for not being able to grow in a small space. Stricter restrictions coming to 5 Ont. 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. 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. We hope they are helpful! Not all kinds of plants, however, are suitable for all kinds of Canadian … “In front yard spaces, opt for decorative and delicious edibles, like Peppermint Swiss chard, dinosaur kale, or purple beans,” suggests Niki Jabbour, author of Veggie Garden Remix. HGTV Sites. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides. regions on Monday, Calgary man arrested, accused of defying COVID-19 guidelines, Ontario will enter province-wide lockdown as of Christmas Eve, sources say. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). The selective weedkillers we use on lawns seek out and kill broadleaved (or dicotyledonous) plants only, which is why they don’t kill grasses. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. Choosing the right mix of grasses and groundcover helps prevent weeds and pests. 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. Alternative Lawn Mix Wildflowers. We have a large area of dirt (4 thousand square feet) that is needing coverage. An artificial lawn is more expensive to install than natural grass, but the annual savings from never having to water and fertilize often takes care of the upfront costs. Nov 4, 2017 - Explore Sage Gardens's board "Lawn Alternatives", followed by 178581 people on Pinterest. This mix is useful as a flowering lawn or low growing ground cover. (For the most part, you need six to eight hours of sun a day for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.) See more ideas about Lawn alternatives, Lawn, Garden design. For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … The solution could lie in a simple bottle of paint. (Photo: Donna Griffith). More and more homeowners are ripping up turf in favour of plants and wildflowers that grow with almost no help at all. the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. With stringent water bans in place, it’s all but impossible to keep grass green. You don’t want to encounter them yourself. After they’re established, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often. Want to switch up your lawn? Detractors point out that fake turf doesn’t offer the cooling effects of grass, nor a place for insects to thrive. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. But once established over a couple of years, native flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down. Front yards can present some harsh conditions—dry soil devoid of nutrients, salt left over from winter shovelling, clay. Conclusion for Drought-Tolerant Lawns. Dreaming of growing your own fresh produce? Consult a local nursery to find one suited to your climate and growing conditions. 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. 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. A colourful and diverse alternative to traditional grass lawns. It can feed you and your family, and maybe generate some extra income if you decide to sell your produce. Use fluid materials such as gravel. 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. Groundcovers and lawn alternatives. We recommend these plants for Guelph’s climate and soil conditions. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a full-fledged urban farm, you can sneak plants into an established perennial garden. On this page. But it is possible to amend that soil over time (the not-so-secret secret is compost), while choosing hardy plants that don’t mind the current state of affairs in your yard. One helpful tip is to look for plants that are native to your region. Sweet Woodruff. Some savvy green thumbs will build tidy rows of raised beds in lieu of a lawn. “Just like us, bees need food and water,” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Garden Alchemy. But many of these problems can be managed with regular mowings. 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). Sometimes referred to as "natural landscaping" or "xeriscaping," lawn alternative landscaping often includes elements like decorative grasses, flower and shrub beds, and mulch. A tomato with obelisk. Videos for Lawn Alternatives. Why slave away at real grass when the fake stuff looks almost as good? Some choices, such as clover, actually add nitrogen to the soil, thereby eliminating the need to fertilize the grass around it. "A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses … Fortunately, there are a number of lawn alternative options that require no chemical treatments and have much lower water needs. 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. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. 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. These varieties can either replace a typical lawn completely, or be sown in with regular grass to reduce the water needs of a lawn. As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. Planting flowers, of course, attracts a variety of pollinators, from bees to birds to butterflies. Stone or Sand. Each year, we inevitably see news reports showing the destruction one heavy rainfall can bring. Replacing Your Lawn With Landscaping. There is a wide range of stone types to choose from such as crushed granite, stone pebbles, river rocks, decomposed granite, pea gravel. Summer brings hot sunny days—and the odd deluge. It’s no surprise that so many municipalities has declared war on lawns. “Curly parsley or Greek basil are super compact and can be added to flower pots for visual interest and summer-long harvesting,” she adds. Low-growing groundcovers are perfect lawn alternatives. Food Network. Lawn paint is fairly new but already proving popular. alternativelawn . And with pollinator populations in peril (apologies for all the alliteration), using your yard, however small, as a haven and food source, can help immensely. And even if you’re just changing up a small area, or digging in a big tree, it’s a good idea to consult your municipality’s “call before you dig” program to flag any underground pipes (like gas) or cables. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. It may require more of an up-front investment, though, which will go toward raised beds, good soil, seeds, plants and protective materials, like fences and covers to keep out deer and pests. 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. 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. Gravel is another alternative to grass lawn. Artificial grass has come a long way since the AstroTurf days of the 1960s. What to plant. There are many advantages for using these materials that include color and texture variety, availability, price range from inexpensive to high-end and durability. With a softer feel and a more realistic look, artificial lawns can easily be mistaken for the real thing, which may be why they’re popping up in residential yards, commercial green spaces and even municipal areas such as boulevards. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped with this shift a few years ago. Microclover. 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. (Photo: Bushel and Berry). Special programs, like the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, has a checklist for gardeners wanting to certify their garden as a wildlife-friendly habitat. Dwarf cinquefoil can take more foot traffic than the other lawn alternatives I’ve planted, but it still can’t handle any soccer games. “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. While each region of Canada has its own native species, some plants that grow well in most parts of the country include wild strawberry, yarrow, coneflowers and asters. We do not want to plant grass due to maintenance. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. Clover. Clover was once considered a weed in the grass, but it’s surprisingly beneficial as a lawn plant. Tara Nolan Drought-tolerant grass alternatives include microclover, white clover, creeping red fescue, ryegrasses and sedges. 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. But it’s okay to have a few dandelions or patches of clover. 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. Updated April 6, 2020, Pot of blueberries. Here are some ideas to keep things interesting in the front yard. The good news for those who still want a field of green is the abundance of lawn substitutes that can accommodate foot traffic, pet traffic, and rounds of lawn games. 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