Mowing grass. It’s a weekly ritual for many of us, but it’s also an annoying waste of time. I have better things to do! Not only that, but burning gallons of gasoline with lawn mowers isn’t exactly eco-friendly or cheap. There must be some alternatives? Let’s take a look at some awesome, low-maintenance lawn alternatives.
First, let’s look at something the casual observer might consider a grass – sedges (carex spp.). Sedges grow in clumps, have grass-like leaves, and there are species well-suited for pretty much any region of the U.S. You can leave sedges un-mowed for a flowing, meadow-like appearance, or mow it a few times a year for a more lawn-like look. Sedges can also handle light foot traffic.
Clover (trifolium repens) is a bee-friendly lawn alternative. Not only does it provide good foraging opportunities for our little friends, it is also as tough as nails. It can thrive in full sun to partial shade and can tolerate a wide pH range. Although once considered an unsightly weed, there are even some ornamental varieties being bred now.
For those with moist, shady areas moss is another alternative. Its low-growing habit eliminates the need for mowing. Moss needs no fertilizer and very little water once established. However, moss does not handle foot traffic very well.
This final option gets its inspiration from both nature … and many state DOTs. If you have a large lawn, why not grow a meadow instead? Plant a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. I also recommend adding trees and paths to create a retreat reminiscent of rural countryside prior to the twentieth century.
These are just a few no-mow solutions that I found while doing research on this topic. There really is no limit to the types of no-mow lawn options. However, be sure to check local laws and with HOAs before going the no-mow route. Sadly, you could break the law in some areas. Imperial entanglements aside, this is a trend that is definitely going to become more popular in coming years.