Keeping turfgrass in great shape requires lots of water, fertilizer, and work. Installing something more forgiving and less high maintenance, like mulch or a groundcover, can reduce the amount of time and money you put into your lawn care.
Are you plagued by persistently bare areas in your lawn? Do you feel like you’re losing the turf battle to weeds? Does it seem like a waste of time to care for a giant yard?
Consider installing something more forgiving and less high maintenance than turfgrass.
Do I Need Turfgrass to Have a Great Lawn?
A turfgrass lawn in excellent condition looks appealing and has its benefits, like absorbing stormwater and reducing runoff. However, basic maintenance of turfgrass requires lots of water and fertilizer to keep it in great shape. And still, sometimes it does not perform to your standards, thinning or yellowing or becoming excessively weedy.
Instead of maintaining the landscape, you are continually putting out fires with every new turf problem.
Reducing lawn size and replacing areas of turf with different types of landscaping is a great solution. In this article, we suggest alternatives you can install to decrease spending on lawn care and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to maintain healthy turf.
Shaded areas of turf, especially those with lots of foot traffic, can easily be replaced with mulch. Also, consider installing mulch to cover areas that are hard to mow or where the grass struggles to grow. Decorative mulch like pine bark and pine straw can create an attractive contrast to the grassy areas around it.
Consider replacing sections of your turfgrass with low-growing plants. Several outstanding options of groundcovers will make appealing and low-maintenance additions to your landscaping. Groundcovers require less water and fertilizer than turf and are generally drought-tolerant. Below are three popular groundcovers to consider.
Powderpuff mimosa spreads quickly (but is not aggressive) and helps prevent erosion. This plant is not an evergreen and will lose its leaves during winter, but it blooms pink spherical flowers from spring until fall.
Perennial peanut is not only drought-resistant but also nematode- and pathogen-resistant. It is an evergreen in areas of Florida that are frost-free and blooms bright yellow flowers throughout the summer. The plant’s growth patterns help prevent erosion, though it should be contained by metal or fiberglass borders to keep it from spreading to unwanted areas.
Asiatic jasmine is another evergreen and a hardy one at that. It does well with little water, suppresses the growth of weeds, and is even salt-resistant. This plant is a superb option for coastal Florida!
If you have high-traffic areas of turfgrass, consider installing paths or a patio instead! This will add some texture and contrast to your landscape and even more living space.
Still want a grass yard? Another option to reduce the amount of money, time and energy that some turfgrasses require is to plant a species that requires less water and maintenance. Bahiagrass is a great option, especially in sunny areas. It is more resistant to drought, needs less fertilizer, and requires less pest management than other turfgrasses in Florida.