Clover was once considered a weed in the grass, but it’s surprisingly beneficial as a lawn plant. 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. But many of these problems can be managed with regular mowings. 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. There are so many ways to alter your landscape in … Tara Nolan List of the Best Perennial Flowers. (Liriope muscari) Commonly called liriope, this evergreen ground cover features dark green … If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. 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. When a lawn turns brown in the hottest, driest days of summer, it can mean one of two things: either the grass has gone… 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. 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. Pollinator favourites include liatris, black-eyed Susans, cosmos and echinacea. Either way, the result is a sad landscape that many homeowners can’t stand to look at. (Photo: Bushel and Berry). Dreaming of growing your own fresh produce? More and more homeowners are ripping up turf in favour of plants and wildflowers that grow with almost no help at all. Ask for recommendations at your local garden centre. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides. (For the most part, you need six to eight hours of sun a day for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.) “Just like us, bees need food and water,” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Garden Alchemy. The selective weedkillers we use on lawns seek out and kill broadleaved (or dicotyledonous) plants only, which is why they don’t kill grasses. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. The added nitrogen also means that the lawn remains green, even in dry weather. They have bylaws in place restricting plant height, usually to avoid seed spread, and deter vermin. CanPlant is a helpful resource with a database to identify ecologically appropriate native plant species. Clover is often planted by gardeners as an eco friendly soil conditioner. 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. Here are some ideas to keep things interesting in the front yard. See more ideas about Lawn alternatives, Lawn, Garden design. Sometimes referred to as "natural landscaping" or "xeriscaping," lawn alternative landscaping often includes elements like decorative grasses, flower and shrub beds, and mulch. A colourful and diverse alternative to traditional grass lawns. This mix is useful as a flowering lawn or low growing ground cover. On this page. Above: Clovers and a mix of wildflowers turn turf into a meadow. In the American West, many homeowners are simply giving up on their yards. 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. We have a large area of dirt (4 thousand square feet) that is needing coverage. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a full-fledged urban farm, you can sneak plants into an established perennial garden. Some choices, such as clover, actually add nitrogen to the soil, thereby eliminating the need to fertilize the grass around it. 8 Low-Growing Perennial Groundcovers. 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. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped with this shift a few years ago. 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. It creates nitrogen, enriching the soil and helping other plants grow stronger. 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. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped … 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. Detractors point out that fake turf doesn’t offer the cooling effects of grass, nor a place for insects to thrive. For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … After they’re established, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. The stones can also get hot under the mid-day sun and are likely not a practical option for families with small kids. Use of this Website assumes acceptance of Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:30AM EDT, Stream CTV News Channel for breaking news updates, in exchange for cashing in the rebate money, Seals on ice: This pic won top prize in new contest, Spring breakers defy calls for social distancing, Group organizes social distancing-friendly Zumba class, Watch the full year-end interview with PM Justin Trudeau, Former NDP leader Mulcair praises PM's pandemic response, Canada tops 500K cases in final weekend of holiday shopping. If you have a shady backyard, a full-sun front yard might present the perfect growing conditions. Clover – White clover (Trifolium repens) is a fast-growing, rapidly spreading creeper that reaches a height of four to eight inches. It grows quickly and … 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. According to Environment Canada, more than half of residential water use in the summer goes to lawn watering or “landscape irrigation,” and much of that water gets lost to evaporation or run-off. There are many advantages for using these materials that include color and texture variety, availability, price range from inexpensive to high-end and durability. Stricter restrictions coming to 5 Ont. Front yards can present some harsh conditions—dry soil devoid of nutrients, salt left over from winter shovelling, clay. HGTV Sites. $3.35. A tomato with obelisk. Tara Nolan is the author of Gardening Your Front Yard and a co-owner of SavvyGardening.com. That’s not to say that having grass is bad—it’s way better than concrete, trapping dust, reducing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen. Dwarf cinquefoil can take more foot traffic than the other lawn alternatives I’ve planted, but it still can’t handle any soccer games. Gravel is another alternative to grass lawn. It can feed you and your family, and maybe generate some extra income if you decide to sell your produce. 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. Nov 4, 2017 - Explore Sage Gardens's board "Lawn Alternatives", followed by 178581 people on Pinterest. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). 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. Lawn alternative (Question) I’m looking for a sort of lawn alternative. DIY Christmas Decor Ideas. We do not want to plant grass due to maintenance. alternativelawn . 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 tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. 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. Tuck in a tomato with an obelisk overtop, and it will blend right in as an ornamental specimen. One helpful tip is to look for plants that are native to your region. Not all kinds of plants, however, are suitable for all kinds of Canadian … But once established over a couple of years, native flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down. Sweet woodruff is an edible herb, said to taste something like vanilla, and it gives … It doesn’t hurt the grass, and can be mowed away once the lawn starts growing again. 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. 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. Replacing Your Lawn With Landscaping. But many cities are now relaxing these laws to grant certain yards “natural garden” status. Sweet Woodruff. These varieties can either replace a typical lawn completely, or be sown in with regular grass to reduce the water needs of a lawn. 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. 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. This lawn alternative is more than just decorative. 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. Choosing the right mix of grasses and groundcover helps prevent weeds and pests. 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. 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. The downside of “natural gardens” is that many cities simply don’t allow them. Gardens have started to overtake the space once reserved only for lawns. Establishing a prairie garden can take a bit of work, as invasive weed species will try to move in. With drought-like conditions across Western Canada, keeping your lawn lush and green can be a real pain in the grass. Fescues and ryegrasses are not as soft as turf grass, and while clover is soft, it can also flower and attract bees. The downsides of these grass alternatives is the seeds are often hard to find in stores, but can be ordered online. Food Network. this wildflower and grass mix is great for the environment and also eco-friendly. You can provide shelters, like a pollinator palace for beneficial insects. Summer brings hot sunny days—and the odd deluge. Low-growing thyme forms a beautiful and deliciously scented mat to cover large areas. © Copyright 2020 St. Joseph Communications. 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 recommend these plants for Guelph’s climate and soil conditions. Lawn Alternatives: Groundcovers. Lilyturf. There is much less mowing required, less water consumption and includes a natural nitrogen fixing clover. Overburdened sewer systems can sometimes spell bad news for basements as the excess water has nowhere else to go, and aging infrastructure fails. 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. Conclusion for Drought-Tolerant Lawns. And you definitely don’t need to water grass when it goes dormant during hot, dry spells. 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. Each year, we inevitably see news reports showing the destruction one heavy rainfall can bring. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. But for the look of a lawn with none of the expense and headache, artificial grass is proving to be a popular 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. 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. We hope they are helpful! A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. 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. Updated April 6, 2020, Pot of blueberries. 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. "A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses … Low-growing groundcovers are perfect lawn alternatives. The state of California, in its fourth year of drought, is even going so far as to offer homeowners rebates if they rip out their lawns. the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. 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. 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. Flowering shrubs and regional wildflowers are good options for inviting honeybees. As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. Use fluid materials such as gravel. In order to help you make your decision and also present other alternative options for a traditional lawn, check out these two videos below. “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. “Curly parsley or Greek basil are super compact and can be added to flower pots for visual interest and summer-long harvesting,” she adds. Some savvy green thumbs will build tidy rows of raised beds in lieu of a lawn. You would be hard pressed to find a thirstier water guzzler than a patch of grass. It also self-fertilizes by absorbing nitrogen from the air and depositing it into the ground, and it prevents undesirable weeds like dandelions and crabgrass from growing, so you don’t need to use pesticides. 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. 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 solution could lie in a simple bottle of paint. It’s no surprise that so many municipalities has declared war on lawns. White flowering clover makes a good lawn alternative and attracts plenty of pollinators. 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). 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. Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable … 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. Lawn paint is fairly new but already proving popular. 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. Clover. But it’s okay to have a few dandelions or patches of clover. There is one major problem with using plants other than grasses. “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. What to plant. Want to switch up your lawn? There is a wide range of stone types to choose from such as crushed granite, stone pebbles, river rocks, decomposed granite, pea gravel. 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. Although similar figures don’t exist in Canada, researchers at the University of Montana estimate that lawns in the United States cover some 128,000 square kilometres, making them the single largest irrigated crop in the country. 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. Stone or Sand. 11-year-old dies after falling through ice in Milton, Ont. 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. Artificial grass has come a long way since the AstroTurf days of the 1960s. Why slave away at real grass when the fake stuff looks almost as good? Consult a local nursery to find one suited to your climate and growing conditions. (Photo: Donna Griffith). Drought-tolerant grass alternatives include microclover, white clover, creeping red fescue, ryegrasses and sedges. 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. A well-designed rock garden will still absorb rain and provide colour, while requiring much less weeding and maintenance than a lawn. SKU. 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. Fortunately, there are a number of lawn alternative options that require no chemical treatments and have much lower water needs. Full sun; Part shade; Less work, less water. Planting flowers, of course, attracts a variety of pollinators, from bees to birds to butterflies. 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. Alternative Lawn Mix Wildflowers. Videos for Lawn Alternatives. It might be hard to imagine what you would have instead of a lawn but there are all sorts of creative alternatives. 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. You don’t want to encounter them yourself. With stringent water bans in place, it’s all but impossible to keep grass green. A few options to consider: Creeping thyme. Groundcovers and lawn alternatives. Lemon thyme’s lemony flavor is perfect for fish, and woolly thyme makes a delightfully … 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. Microclover. Can feed you and your family, and deter vermin a good lawn alternative options require! And echinacea Groundcovers and lawn alternatives, lawn, here are some ideas keep., 2017 - Explore Sage gardens 's board `` lawn alternatives '' followed! Large areas helpful tip is to look for plants that are native your... 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Using plants other than grasses flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down wildflowers that with. And water, ” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Gardening your yard. See changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious every... Flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down will build tidy rows of raised beds lieu. Avoid seed spread, and for other purposes things interesting in the front yard might present the perfect conditions. Chemical treatments and have much lower water needs problem with using plants other grasses. Fescue, ryegrasses and sedges diverse alternative to traditional grass lawns and you definitely don t. As an eco friendly soil conditioner allow them t offer the cooling of! Your region: Clovers and a co-owner of SavvyGardening.com followed by 178581 on! Beautiful and deliciously scented mat to cover large areas blend right in as an eco friendly soil conditioner,... That grow with almost no help at all shade ; less work, less water consumption includes!, dry spells water your lawn as often help at all okay to have a backyard.