DIY Ideas — Lawn alternatives
Turf can be tough. For this month’s featured DIY idea, we dive into lawn alternatives and grass replacement ideas to give new life to that dust-bowl of dried out turf!
Reasons to consider lawn alternatives
There are 3 main reasons to consider replacing your grassy areas:
- Replace struggling or dead lawn
- Lower maintenance levels
- Increase yard functionality
Below, we dive into each one with specific tips, tricks and suggestions!
1. Why won’t my lawn grow?!
There are many factors that could be contributing to your unsuccessful lawn attempts. Inadequate water supplies, poor soil conditions, insufficient light and climatic conditions all have powerful — and sometimes damaging — effects on turf.
However, instead of redesigning your entire outdoor area in an attempt to save the lawn, take a step back and decide if it’s worth it. Is it really worth sacrificing the shade of that glorious tree, in order to get more light onto the lawn? Is that new irrigation system a sustainable fix, if we’re potentially looking at longer and more frequent drought periods (accompanied by subsequent water restrictions)?
Whilst lawns can have an affect property value, it may not be necessary to have so much of it, or to have it in certain places (or even at all).
2. Low maintenance lawn alternatives
Furthermore, lawns are one of the highest maintenance plants you own. When it’s struggling, it can run you ragged trying to salvage it and keep the weeds at bay. When it’s thriving, it can be even more work!
So, if you simply don’t have the time (or heart) to keep fighting the good fight, it’s time you explore the alternatives!
No mow grassZoysia tenuifolia is a slow-growing grass that grows in velvet waves; no mowing required!
Ornamental grassesZoysia isn't the only pretty grass on the block. Ornamental grasses are a big hit for textured, or 'bedhead', garden designs. Some options to consider adding to your landscape design include:
- Pennisetum (fountain/foxtail grass)
- Blue fescue
RockeriesThis idea introduces another natural landscaping idea that offers depth and texture.
With a mix of boulders, bush rocks, pebbles and feature plants, you can design a breath-taking garden design that is far more creative than a patch of grass.
Desert-inspired drought tolerant gardensCacti, succulents, sand and pebbles; taking us back to a Palm Springs vibe, this option is a perfect choice for those struggling to keep a thirsty lawn alive!
Ground coverIf you're looking to add some visual interest for low-traffic areas, consider these ground covers:
- Dichondra silver falls
- Blue chalksticks
- Gazania tomentosa
Outdoor flooringIf you need to walk over the space, plants won't be very helpful; for maximum functionality, hard flooring could be the right alternative for you.
You could create a mixture of greenery and feature paving...
Outdoor flooring...or create hard flooring for the whole space!
Artificial turfIf you still really want that classic lawn look, fake it 'til you make it!
You'd be surprised by how soft and realistic certain artificial turf products are nowadays; the market has come a long way from its coarse, heat-sensitive predecessor.
3. Functional outdoor areas
The last reason you may want to replace your lawn is simply to create a more functional outdoor living zone. Sprawling lawns can be lovely to look over, but they don’t serve much purpose.
If your goal is to boost the usability of The Great Outdoors, check out the following lawn alternatives to get more out of your land!
Native bird-feeder gardensNature is not something around us; it is something within us. It is something we are a part of.
Do your part for your local ecosystem and plant some Australian natives to sustain the wildlife in your area! Create a little sactuary and watch them flock; some ideas include birdbaths, bird houses and the following bird-feeding plants:
- Seeding grasses like tussock, wallaby and kangaroos grass
- Bottle brush
- Kangaroo paws
- Flowering gums
Edible lawn alternativesDIY veggie patches have taken a chic turn since the good old cottage days. Contemporary herb gardens and ornamental edible landscaping allow you to create a sophisticated garden design with plants that reward you for all the hard work!
Some notable architectural edible plants include:
Outdoor fire pit areaWith some pebbles, seating and an outdoor fire pit, you can transform an unruly patch of dried grass into an outdoor living oasis!
Case Study: Three Birds Renovations build outdoor fire pit area with VogueWall backdrop
Entertaining deckThis DIY idea is getting a little more construction heavy; but as long as we're re-imagining the way you use your space, why not consider it?
Building a deck gives you a whole new entertaining and outdoor living space, as well as boosting property value!
Written by Evelyn Kandris