Choose a New Way
Begin with a Goal
Start by setting an intention. According to Susan Morrison, an avid landscaper and blogger, it’s important to have a clear idea of why you want a no-lawn yard. Get plenty of inspiration with these 10 grass-free alternatives to traditional lawn, including succulents, creeping ground cover, wildflowers, and moss.
Help Save Water
We can all learn how to be better at water conservancy from citizens like Jeff Collins, who lives in the drought-prone state of California. Choosing to xeriscape is one step toward lessening the amount of water you use to care for your outdoor space, which the Environmental Protection Agency estimates as 1/3 of all residential water use in America.
Love Native Plants
In Lansing, Michigan and Denver, Colorado, some residents are replacing their labor-intensive lawns with native plants and wildflowers, promoting biodiversity. Planting native flora is also a good way to support honeybee and songbird populations, which rely on the nectar and seeds for food.
Plant Your Food
Ivette Soler loved her lawn-less garden so much, she wrote a book about it. In "The Edible Front Yard," Soler shows that organic food can co-exist with curb-appeal. The key is to find ornamental and edible plants that work well together. Check out Food Not Lawns for another great online resource.
Make Space to Create
If the thought of gardening seems daunting, take heart. Evelyn Hadden’s "Beautiful No-Mow Yards" provides 50 lawn alternatives that are easy to install and maintain. She reminds us that gardening is a true creative endeavor—freeing and fulfilling.
Make Time for Fun
Mowing the lawn can be a big chore. Grassy lawns can also be “boring,” according to Saxon Holt, a member of the Lawn Reform Coalition. His approach to landscaping goes beyond plant choice and sustainability. He calls on us to exercise our “sense of fun” and “our American sense of individuality.”
Artist Fritz Haeg founded Edible Estates to build community—locally and globally. His gardens are collaborative projects, with regional plant lists published online. So whether you live in Minnesota, Maryland, or Israel, you can recreate an edible estate in your own front yard.
Embrace Your Wild Side
When Starre Varten moved onto 40 acres of land in Oregon’s Coast Range, she realized that pest-control can be achieved without pesticides or herbicides. “Between the birds and the bats, pounds of insects are devoured each day… I've found that I have fewer pests, because it is a balanced system.”
Spend less time on lawn chores, and more time enjoying your property.
Whether you're a lawn care novice or a master gardener, everyone can use a little help around the yard. Subscribe to The Dirt newsletter for tips, recommendations, and problem-solving tools that can help you tame your great outdoors.