If you are like many homeowners, you may be looking for an alternative to a plain grass lawn. Grass lawns can be problematic in many ways. For one, they create a monoculture, which isn't friendly to pollinators like bees, beetles, and butterflies. The grasses are often nonnative, so they can become invasive in local wild areas. Further, most lawn grasses require lots of water, which can be a problem in areas with a shortage of water. Yet, replacing the lawn with something more environmentally friendly may seem like too much for the budget.
Fortunately, the following tips can help you switch to a more eco-friendly lawn while still allowing you to save some cash.
Turn the grass into fertilizer
Ripping out the lawn not only requires renting a bunch of equipment to do it properly, but it also requires pulling up the top few inches of soil along with the grass roots. This will leave you with the added expense of having to bring in new topsoil along with fertilizers to restore the nutrient balance. There is a better, and less expensive, option though.
Instead, you can solarize the yard. To do this, wait until the warmer days of summer. Then, mow the lawn as short as possible and cover it with a sheet of plastic. Clear painter's drop cloths also work well and are inexpensive. The grass will die quickly but wait a couple of weeks so the heat from the sun also kills any seeds. Then, all you need to do is till the dead grass into the soil, where it replenishes the nutrient levels.
Opt for native plants
There are a ton of attractive low-water, low-maintenance planting options, but they will be more expensive if you opt for those that aren't native to your area. You also run the risk of planting something that could become invasive. Instead, do some research on the native plants in your region. Many states and counties have native plant societies that will be more than happy to help you pick the best plants for your yard, whether you are seeking a ground cover or a statement plant. Many of these societies also sponsor native seed banks and plant sales, which allow you to pick up new plants very cheaply.
Order mulch in bulk
All too often a native, natural landscape is allowed to become overrun with invasive, non-native weeds. To keep your yard attractive once you get the native plants in, use plenty of mulch to protect your soil and prevent weeds from taking over in bare areas. As your new plants mature and spread, you will have less bare soil to cover, so mulching heavily may only be necessary for the first couple of years after planting. You can order a bulk mulch pallet delivery for much less than what you would pay to buy mulch by the bag at the local box store. Once the mulch arrives, all you need to do is spread it over any bare soil so it can keep down weeds while also conserving soil moisture. Contact local mulch suppliers for more information on the type and amount of mulch you need.
The landscaping in your yard can do much more than make everything look pretty. Do you have areas of your property that remain soggy long after the rains have passed? Are there areas that get washed out during storms? Are there some places that simply aren't usable when you want to use them? Our blog will provide you with several ideas for using landscape design to make areas of your property that aren't currently usable into areas that are enjoyable, beautiful and maybe even increase the value of your property. We hope that you find the solution to whatever problems you are having right here.