Maintaining a grass lawn takes time and effort even under the best of circumstances. It needs to be watered regularly to stay green, and mown regularly to keep it from becoming overgrown. But in California lately, both of those tasks are getting harder and harder. Gas prices are soaring, making it more expensive to operate a gas-powered mower.
More importantly, though, the state is also in the midst of what’s turning out to be the worst drought in over a millennium. Therefore, watering the grass must be done sparingly, and keeping it green and luscious is off the table. So what can you do to keep your lawn green and luscious in the midst of these crises? Here are three grass alternatives, that look great, but require less maintenance.
Clover, particularly microclover, is also used as a supplement to grass. It adds nitrogen to the soil, and provides shade that keeps water in the soil longer. But instead of supplementing your grass, you can also just replace it with clover entirely. Dutch clover especially is green and luscious without requiring much mowing—but is still sturdy enough to be mown when necessary. It’s durable and long lasting, tends not to let in weeds, and is perfect for homes with outdoor pets, as it stands up readily to pet urine. A clover lawn is a great, low maintenance grass alternative.
There are several herbs you can use as grass alternatives, that not only look good and require less maintenance, but also can be used for a variety of purposes. Creeping thyme is hardy and thrives in a lot of sunlight. It comes in a number of varieties, including lemon and orange thyme, which are beautiful and fragrant, and wooly thyme, which has a soft texture underfoot. While creeping thyme isn’t quite the same as what you’d use in cooking, it can still make a good alternative in a pinch.
What you CAN use in cooking, though, is Corsican mint. It smells inviting and makes a great mint tea. It’s also hardy, stands up to foot traffic, doesn’t require much mowing, and thrives in dry soil and good sun.
3. Artificial Turf
If you really want to go low maintenance, try an artificial turf lawn. It doesn’t require any watering, mowing, or other care, and looks green and luscious no matter what the season. In times past, artificial grass looked fake and plastic, but now, it can be made to look just as natural and inviting as a real lawn, in any style you like.
These are just a few of the grass alternatives you can put in your lawn. Whether your goal is to reduce the need for mowing and other maintenance, save water in the midst of the drought, or just be able to get your morning tea out of the front yard, you still have a variety of options for keeping your lawn green and inviting all year round.