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What To Replace Lawn With

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Wood Chippings Or Bark

How to Replace a Lawn with Shade Perennials | Ask This Old House

Its commonly used in flower beds as a mulch to improve the soil, but its also more attractive than soil. For a larger area you can buy play grade wood chips or bark. This will be cleaned and free from pests and weeds.

Wood chip and play bark from cpa horticulture

  • Soft base for children to play on
  • You can easily lay in yourself without needing a landscape gardener


  • Over time it will rot and will need to be topped up

Benefits Of A Clover Lawn

  • Clover is affordable and easy to grow.
  • A nitrogen-fixing plant, clover brings nutrients to your soil and requires no fertilization. When mixed with other grasses, clover can reduce or eliminate the need for regular fertilizing.
  • Clover is drought tolerant and grows despite lack of water once established. This contrasts starkly with traditional lawn grasses, which usually need watering all season long.
  • Full sun or partial shade? Clover is tolerant of many conditions and outcompetes other weeds. Some of the newer micro-clovers are even more tolerant of shade and can grow in high-traffic areas.
  • Clover is versatile. Add to a regular lawn to help invigorate tired turf or plant a full clover lawn on its own for lush, year-round greenery .
  • Wildlife such as bees and deer love clover. If youd rather not have bees visiting, simply mow your clover before it blooms.
  • Say good-bye to burn marksclover will not turn yellow as quickly as a regular lawn when pets are around.

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    Seeds Need Soil Contact To Germinate

    Wildflower seeds need contact with moist soil to germinate, and, if any do make it, turf grass will out-compete them. Thats the nature of the beast. Traditional lawn grasses are chosen specifically for this quality.

    To successfully replace some or all of your lawn requires

    • Choosing the right seeds for your climate and growing conditions.
    • Proper soil preparation including removing all other plants and roots in the planting areain the least harmful way possible.
    • Some ongoing maintenance.

    Its also important to let go of perfectionism and focus on the good you are doing. And once you see the life it brings, an appreciation for true natural beauty follows.

    This means working with nature, not against it: tidy is for houses, not gardens.

    Why Reduce Or Get Rid Of Your Lawn

    How to Replace Some Lawn With a Rock Garden DIY

    There are many reasons to consider giving up your lawn. Turf grass is maintained by the regular use of inorganic chemicals, mowing, and lots of water.

    • Pollution runoff from herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers is harmful to the environment.
    • Gas mowers produce harmful emissions and air pollutants.
    • The cost of regular irrigation can quickly add up.
    • Traditional lawns offer no benefits to the ecosystem and are a virtual desert when it comes to supporting soil organisms and wildlife.

    Even replacing a small part of your lawn can make a difference. The transition away from turf grass doesnt have to happen overnight. Start by adding a small flower bed, pathway, gravel area, or wildflower meadow garden.

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    Go Casual With Gravel

    Ditch a tired lawn and replace with gravel for a smart, but laid-back look. Great for suppressing weeds, retaining moisture and encouraging plants to self-seed and spread its perfect for easy, low maintenance garden ideas.

    Use it to cover areas of any size and aim for a depth of around 5cm laid on top of landscaping fabric. ‘A gravel area will need a retaining edge in order to define it and prevent the stones escaping into other areas,’ explains Jo Fenton, Partner at Fenton Roberts Garden Design. ‘In this garden we used granite setts but we also like flexible metal edging which is versatile and very easy to install.’

    Go for a stone size of 20mm to deter cats from digging and think carefully about the best color for your space. Warm toned aggregates such as Cotswold or golden gravel create a sunny, welcoming vibe while limestone and white marble work well for a sharp, contemporary look. For a lush, tropical feel highlight glossy leaved shrubs and ferns with dark grey granite chippings.

    Convinced gravel is one of the right alternatives to grass for you? Find suitable ways to keep it in place with our lawn edging ideas.

    When The Natural Methods Fail Using Weed Killers For Clover

    Now, we have covered how to get rid of clover in grass naturally. However, if all of these methods fail, you can resort to using commercial herbicides for broadleaf weeds. Those are the products that contain active compounds such as Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, Mecoprop, and Dicamba.

    These chemicals cause deformed growth in broadleaf weeds but do not damage the grass. However, they are far from benign substances through constant exposure and accumulation, they can harm other creatures, including humans.

    That is why it is better to spot-treat the problematic weeds than to apply the herbicides broadly. Since they do nothing to prevent the weeds from sprouting, there is no point in doing so anyway.

    Green tip: Avoid Weed and Feed products. As Weed-and-Feed is applied non-selectively and broadly, you will introduce much more toxic materials than necessary. That can have a myriad of negative impacts on the environment, the wildlife, and eventually your health.

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    How To Remove A Lawn To Replace It With Pavers

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    The rye grass, bluegrass, bent grass, St Augustine grass and fescue that typically grow in northern California are accustomed to warm to hot summers, cold winters and occasional periods without rain, says the University of California. These grasses grow mostly from the root, a characteristic that makes them easier to remove than some warm-weather grasses that grow from the stalk. Turf does harbor weeds and dormant plants beneath the surface which will spring to life when you turn the soil, or peel back the cover layer. The best method for removing a lawn and preparing the area for concrete pavers is to first kill the grass, then remove it.


    While pesticides may be the easiest and the most effective way to clear away a lawn in preparation for pavers, it is also the most environmentally unfriendly. California’s strict herbicide laws prevent the use of chemical herbicides on most public land, but do not prohibit private use. Never allow chemicals to run into ground water, sewer lines or to enter any other pathway that may lead to water.

    Why Create A Native Plant Lawn

    ProGrass Presents: Lawn Replacement

    One of the most common strategies for naturescaping isplanting a native lawn. Native plants are those that are found naturally inyour area and local ecosystem. Turf lawns require a lot of maintenance, while anative lawn, once established, does not.

    Turf can also be detrimental to the environment because tokeep it looking nice requires the use of fertilizers, weed killers, andpesticides. Grass can also promote erosion and needs a lot of water throughoutthe growing season.

    Native plants, on the other hand, provide an ecosystem including water, food, and shelter for native birds, insects, and other kinds of wildlife. They also need less water and are less prone to disease.

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    Reasons To Get Rid Of Your Lawn

    After a couple of years of struggling to grow an attractive lawn in our shady front yard, we decided to replace it with a perennial garden. It took a bit of work to dig out the old lawn, add some compost and soil, and plant the new ground covers and perennial flowers, but it was well worth the effort.

    After the first year, the amount of work required in the garden decreased substantially. Our front yard garden has continued to evolve and has been a joy to maintain rather than a task that we dread. If you’ve been considering replacing some or all of your front lawn with a garden, please read on for ten reasons why I think you should go for it.

    How To Replace Lawn With Wildflower Seed Mix

    Published on August 15, 2020Last updated October 5, 2021 By Melissa J. Will

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Whether you want to reduce your grass lawn or replace it, there are lots of options for alternative eco-lawns including wildflowers, clovers, and fescue grass seed mixes. The recommended seed mixes are suited to hardiness zones 3 to 9 in Canada and the United States.

    Also see How to Grow a Pollinator-Friendly Garden Without Freaking Out Your Neighbors.

    Also Check: Estimates For Lawn Care

    Gardens Attract Wildlife Birds And Beneficial Insects

    Monocultures of grass on lawn after lawn do very little to support a diversity of insects and birds. Replacing even a section of your lawn with perennial flowers, bushes, wildflowers and grasses or groundcovers will help support these important players in the ecosystem.

    Bee on coneflowers in my front yard garden this summer.

    Kathy Sima, 2012

    Alternatives To Grass For Your Backyard

    How to Replace an Old Lawn (with Pictures)

    For some, saving money is a key concern, and grass alternatives that require little or no water, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides or gas-powered equipment is an appealing way to enjoy significant savings while still having a beautiful yard. For others, mowing, watering, feeding, weeding, edging and aerating a natural lawn is just too time consuming, and the cost of hiring landscape professionals to care for their lawn is just as undesirable.

    Other homeowners look into grass alternatives as part of their efforts to lower their homes impact on the environment, since conventional lawns require more than their fair share of water, and common lawn care products like chemical-laden herbicides and pesticides are harmful to the environment and are linked to a variety of health issues.

    You can save money and time, limit your familys exposure to harmful chemicals, decrease your environmental impact and still have a great-looking yard by replacing your lawn or decreasing your lawn space by choosing one of the alternatives listed below.

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    Begin Laying Strips Of New Sod

    After youve ensured that the soil is healthy enough to sustain the new grass, then you can start laying the strips of sod down. Its best to begin from the edges of the property and work your way in. Be sure to tuck in the edges of the squares of sod to secure them in place. Like the soil, its important to dampen the sod as you lay it down. This will allow it to take root quicker.

    Grass Plug Planting Tips From A High Country Gardens Customer

    “I think the advantage of the water drilling does a couple of things like pushing water down 8″ inches and gives the plants a good passive watering. Also, it is a lot easier on your back. I did around 500 plugs and the time was about 5 hours. If you have a friend or two you could get the job quicker.” — Customer Erik L.

    • The old grass was killed, then tilled and raked level.
    • Drip soaker lines were installed in a grid with 12″x12″ spacing.
    • A root water feeder was used to water-drill the holes. They used a section of 3/4 PVC with a coupler and inserted it into each hole that was water drilled. This method works particularly well if you have very hard soil.
    • They drilled and planted in batches of 30.
    • They dipped all plugs into Soil Moist before placing them in the holes and covering the roots with soil.

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    Options For Replacing Your Lawn Along With Their Pros And Cons

    If you were hoping to cash in on the Metropolitan Water District’s turf replacement incentive, you might have waited too long. The incredible popularity of the program has forced the wholesaler to suspend applications after shelling out more than $300 million to help homeowners replace their lawns with less thirsty yard options.

    Homeowners are now having to weigh the benefits of a more drought-tolerant yard against a cost that’s more than they had anticipated.

    Still, saving water may only be one consideration to take into account when deciding why and how to replace your yard, said Carol Bornstein, director of the nature gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the co-author of Reimagining the California Lawn and California Native Plants for the Garden.”

    The primary concern these days, of course, is water because of the drought,” she said.” But water is not the only resource that goes into maintaining lawns. Theres the constant mowing and the generation of green waste and what to do with the green waste and the use of fossil fuels.

    Advantages Of Clover Lawn

    10 Steps to a PERFECT Lawn Replacement

    The main benefit of pure clover lawn is that it requires less maintenance than turfgrass and is more sustainable

    Many homeowners choose to use pure clover lawn as an alternative to turfgrass rather than mixing clover and grass together. They do so mainly to save money and time on lawn care.

    Clover lawns have several benefits compared to traditional turfgrass lawns.

    Here are the main benefits of clover lawn:

    • Clover lawns require less watering than grass lawn. Clover is on the list of drought-tolerant plants.
    • Clover lawns dont require fertilization. Legumes such as clover add nitrogen naturally to the soil. This self-fertilization process also benefits other plants and grasses growing nearby.
    • Clover lawns rarely need mowing. Clover is a low growing ground cover plant that only grows a few inches tall. Mowing clover lawns is usually only necessary to prevent blooming or to tidy their appearance in summer.
    • Clover lawns require minimal maintenance. Clover suppresses common lawn weeds. A clover lawn is also cheaper to look after because you dont need to pay for herbicides, or fertilizers.
    • Clover lawns stay greener for longer. Clover lawns are lush green from spring until fall. In southern states such as Florida, clover lawns stay green all winter.
    • Clover lawns tolerate most soil conditions. Clover can grow in poor soil.

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    About Remodeling Expense

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    Potential Problems With Removing Lawn

    • Be conscious of your neighbors opinions. Some may not appreciate any deviation from the usual look of the neighborhood or may feel that your choice of plants looks messy or weedy. Talk with them. Put a sign in your yard that explains what you are doing. Keeping a neat border will help. Your neighbors just might love what youre doing and look to you for advice for their own yards.
    • Some neighborhoods have homeowner associations that sometimes impose rules about the extent to which you can replace your lawn, particularly your front lawn. Start with the more private areas of your yards. Check local ordinances and work to change restrictive measures.
    • While an established native or new landscape can be beautiful and eventually save you time and money, its not easy. Spreading the job out over a few years can save your budget and your back. It may take a few years to really rid your property of turf and to establish your new plants. You will always need to weed your gardens, prune trees and shrubs, divide crowded plantings, and move or remove overgrown plants.

    Your yard is your private space, but it is also part of the world. What you put there matters. By replacing turfgrass, you can, without too much trouble, foster a healthier watershed and ecosystem as you create beautiful, enjoyable, wildlife-friendly yards that require less maintenance, water, and chemicals.

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    A Victim Of Bad Branding

    Heres the short answer: Clover wasnt always considered a weed. It just got branded as one.

    Clovers specifically Trifolium repens have for centuries been domesticated ground cover plants or livestock forage plants. Clover is a legume, in the same plant family as peas, beans, and peanuts. Its common names include white clover, white Dutch clover, Dutch clover and ladino clover. While it is native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced into the United States early in the colonial days. By 1747, it was common enough that Benjamin Franklin noted red clovers value in improving pastures. Today, it grows readily from Canada to Texas, from Florida to Alaska.

    Unfortunately, most homeowners dont know this fact. Most wont see a useful plant as we might see in its close relatives the same goes for red clover, Trifolium pratense, white clovers bushier cousin.

    Still think clover is useless or ugly? Lets ask a professional.

    Melissa Sharapova is an expert on permaculture and landscaping, with two degrees and three Permacultural Design certifications, plus over 25 years in the horticultural industry. Says Sharapova, In addition to being beautiful with small, round, cool green leaves and white flowers, clover provides many ecological services.

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