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7 Alternatives to Grass For Your Lawn

Ken Rigel

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Jun 13 4 minutes read

I'm a total nerd about my lawn. I am obsessed and starting in May, I'm out there watering all the time. But, if you're not a lawn nerd like me, keeping the grass green is not always an easy thing! In fact, we're seeing a lot of brown out there this year! Come on, rain, help us out! If you're thinking of replacing your grass, there are many options. Here are just a few!

1. Turf

Ever wondered why your neighbours lawn is greener than Kermet on a cold January day? They probably have turf. Turf is an artificial grass. Think the stuff they have in indoor soccer arenas and on mini golf courses. It's made of synthetic fibres and can be made to look quite natural and is very durable too. Many companies in Calgary offer installation and can be found on Google.

2. Hardscaping

If you take out all your greenery and add paving stones, stamped concrete or natural stone, you get what they call "hardscaping". Gravel, brick, wood, any material that isn't grass can make for a beautiful yard. Check out this article for some great tips on how to!

3. Turf Paint

So this one isn't really an alternative, but rather, a way to get that grass looking green overnight. Think of it as a little make up for your lawn. Turf paint can be environmentally friendly and okay for your pets to still walk on (and do their business on). just put out an article all about turf paint, which you can find here.

4. Mulch

Mulches is really good for soil and make for a rustic looking ground cover. You can get organic mulches like cedar or pine bark chips at local home stores. The best part is, it will improve the soil structure and add nutrients as it decomposes. Win-win for your soil, especially if you have a garden as part of your mulch yard.

5. Edible Garden

Converting an awkward area of the lawn into a vegetable and herb garden with raised planters provides a variety of benefits: You will likely save water on growing vegetables by filling the raised beds with soil that’s more suited to the plants than local soils offer. Instead of wasting water spraying the sidewalk next to a strangely shaped portion of grass, use soaker hoses or a simple drip irrigation system to water your vegetables and fill your plates.

6. Gravel

For a simple solution to neglected areas of the yard—like those strips of grass along the side of the house ,and shady areas—replace your grass with gravel. Gravel mulch is effective around plants that love heat and can tolerate low water. With some creativity, you can add color or patterns with crushed fine or pea gravel, creating a useful path at the same time.

Beware of using gravel in highly sunny spots, however, like near the west side of a house, because it can actually can increase temperatures around house walls. You might save on water but pay more to cool the home, or unwittingly make your favorite porch or patio unbearably hot in summer.

7. An Outdoor Living Space

Expand your living space to the outdoors and replace some turf with living spaces that integrate outdoor furniture and appliances: Put some patio furniture together and make a second living room, build a dedicated fire pit, or install an outdoor kitchen. As the pandemic limited activities, a 2021 survey found that 90 percent of Americans with outdoor living spaces like decks, porches, and patios were using them more.

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