It’s no surprise that so many municipalities has declared war on lawns. Each year, we inevitably see news reports showing the destruction one heavy rainfall can bring. Some choices, such as clover, actually add nitrogen to the soil, thereby eliminating the need to fertilize the grass around it. the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. You don’t want to encounter them yourself. We recommend these plants for Guelph’s climate and soil conditions. Dreaming of growing your own fresh produce? It also self-fertilizes by absorbing nitrogen from the air and depositing it into the ground, and it prevents undesirable weeds like dandelions and crabgrass from growing, so you don’t need to use pesticides. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. More and more gardeners are filling their front yards with a riot of blooms, a few vegetable plants, or even a rain garden (more on that in a moment). A tomato with obelisk. There are now even landscaping companies in the state that will pull up homeowners’ lawns and install alternative materials, in exchange for cashing in the rebate money and handling all the paperwork. Nov 4, 2017 - Explore Sage Gardens's board "Lawn Alternatives", followed by 178581 people on Pinterest. Be sure to consult with a landscaping professional before undertaking any major work on your property, especially if you are looking to change the slope or grade in any way. There is a wide range of stone types to choose from such as crushed granite, stone pebbles, river rocks, decomposed granite, pea gravel. Use fluid materials such as gravel. One helpful tip is to look for plants that are native to your region. For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … In my 1,000-square-foot backyard, I planted golden carpet sedum (Sedum acre, Zones 3–8, top left photo, facing page), a creeping variety that is only 4 inches tall. “Setting a bee bath in the garden helps keep them hydrated so they can keep up the busy job of pollinating your garden while you sip a cool drink and enjoy the show.” Rose explains that a bee bath is simple to make by placing a plant saucer or ceramic dish on an overturned plant pot, adding some water, and then setting river stones so the tops come just above the waterline, as a perch for bees to safely drink without falling in. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped with this shift a few years ago. On this page. While each region of Canada has its own native species, some plants that grow well in most parts of the country include wild strawberry, yarrow, coneflowers and asters. This mix is useful as a flowering lawn or low growing ground cover. According to Environment Canada, more than half of residential water use in the summer goes to lawn watering or “landscape irrigation,” and much of that water gets lost to evaporation or run-off. An artificial lawn is more expensive to install than natural grass, but the annual savings from never having to water and fertilize often takes care of the upfront costs. Sedum acre (stonecrop) is also sold as a lawn alternative to grass, but this can quickly spread to other parts of the garden, so is best avoided. More and more homeowners are ripping up turf in favour of plants and wildflowers that grow with almost no help at all. But giving up some or all of your grass to plant native species will help to nourish and shelter smaller creatures, like birds, toads, snakes, beneficial insects, etc. It creates nitrogen, enriching the soil and helping other plants grow stronger. Lawn alternative (Question) I’m looking for a sort of lawn alternative. Microclover. You can provide shelters, like a pollinator palace for beneficial insects. Clover. Overburdened sewer systems can sometimes spell bad news for basements as the excess water has nowhere else to go, and aging infrastructure fails. Stone or Sand. Drought-tolerant grass alternatives include microclover, white clover, creeping red fescue, ryegrasses and sedges. As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. And even if you’re just changing up a small area, or digging in a big tree, it’s a good idea to consult your municipality’s “call before you dig” program to flag any underground pipes (like gas) or cables. A colourful and diverse alternative to traditional grass lawns. Front yards can present some harsh conditions—dry soil devoid of nutrients, salt left over from winter shovelling, clay. With stringent water bans in place, it’s all but impossible to keep grass green. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. Stricter restrictions coming to 5 Ont. If you have a shady backyard, a full-sun front yard might present the perfect growing conditions. The paint is made of a non-toxic, vegetable-based dye that is water-resistant and binds to the grass for 12 weeks or more. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a full-fledged urban farm, you can sneak plants into an established perennial garden. If there are certain challenges you face on the property—salt, deer, drought, a black walnut tree—there are plants that can survive being planted in those areas. There are so many ways to alter your landscape in … DIY Christmas Decor Ideas. A well-designed rock garden will still absorb rain and provide colour, while requiring much less weeding and maintenance than a lawn. You would be hard pressed to find a thirstier water guzzler than a patch of grass. The stones can also get hot under the mid-day sun and are likely not a practical option for families with small kids. The downside is that it can be labour-intensive to establish a hardscape garden, as the rocks and gravel need to be hauled in and landscape fabric needs to be laid down to stop the growth of weeds. Sweet Woodruff. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). If you’re rethinking the wisdom of growing lawn grass, there are several low-maintenance groundcover alternatives that will actually allow you to enjoy your summer weekends. In the American West, many homeowners are simply giving up on their yards. It can feed you and your family, and maybe generate some extra income if you decide to sell your produce. Use of this Website assumes acceptance of Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:30AM EDT, Stream CTV News Channel for breaking news updates, in exchange for cashing in the rebate money, Seals on ice: This pic won top prize in new contest, Spring breakers defy calls for social distancing, Group organizes social distancing-friendly Zumba class, Watch the full year-end interview with PM Justin Trudeau, Former NDP leader Mulcair praises PM's pandemic response, Canada tops 500K cases in final weekend of holiday shopping. Flowering shrubs and regional wildflowers are good options for inviting honeybees. But many of these problems can be managed with regular mowings. Replacing Your Lawn With Landscaping. Lawn Alternatives: Groundcovers. Special programs, like the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, has a checklist for gardeners wanting to certify their garden as a wildlife-friendly habitat. Why slave away at real grass when the fake stuff looks almost as good? CanPlant is a helpful resource with a database to identify ecologically appropriate native plant species. Lilyturf. 11-year-old dies after falling through ice in Milton, Ont. Artificial grass has come a long way since the AstroTurf days of the 1960s. The selective weedkillers we use on lawns seek out and kill broadleaved (or dicotyledonous) plants only, which is why they don’t kill grasses. Full sun; Part shade; Less work, less water. $3.35. Establishing a prairie garden can take a bit of work, as invasive weed species will try to move in. We hope they are helpful! Not all kinds of plants, however, are suitable for all kinds of Canadian … The downsides of these grass alternatives is the seeds are often hard to find in stores, but can be ordered online. Updated April 6, 2020, Pot of blueberries. It grows quickly and … Although similar figures don’t exist in Canada, researchers at the University of Montana estimate that lawns in the United States cover some 128,000 square kilometres, making them the single largest irrigated crop in the country. Gravel is another alternative to grass lawn. Above: Clovers and a mix of wildflowers turn turf into a meadow. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. alternativelawn . But many cities are now relaxing these laws to grant certain yards “natural garden” status. But there are landscaping companies happy to help and the costs of switching over to a dry garden quickly pays for itself from the money saved by never needing to water or mow again. Fescues and ryegrasses are not as soft as turf grass, and while clover is soft, it can also flower and attract bees. (Photo: Donna Griffith). While there will always be those who enjoy lovingly tending to their lawns, many Canadians are likely wondering why they bother devoting their weekends to the whims of their yards. In order to help you make your decision and also present other alternative options for a traditional lawn, check out these two videos below. Pollinator favourites include liatris, black-eyed Susans, cosmos and echinacea. Artificial grass never requires mowing or weeding, lasts 15 years or longer, and can be kept clean with a garden hose or even a vacuum. If you’re thinking about ditching your lawn, here are a few options to consider, from most drastic to least. Consult a local nursery to find one suited to your climate and growing conditions. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. (For the most part, you need six to eight hours of sun a day for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.) There is one major problem with using plants other than grasses. Others have raised concerns about the safety of the turf material and the black “crumbs” sometimes used to hold the lawn down, though no studies have proven the turf present a health hazard. Even roses have gotten a makeover in recent years, with new varieties hardy down to zone 3 or 4, (that is, many parts of Canada) and greater pest and disease resistance. Dry gardens made of any combination of stone chips, pea gravel, ornamental grasses or succulents can make for a unique and attractive alternative to grass or tarmac. this wildflower and grass mix is great for the environment and also eco-friendly. Doug Tallamy, author of Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard believes “private properties are an opportunity for long-term conservation if we design them to meet the needs of the life around us.” Now that doesn’t mean you have to roll out the welcome mat for urban raccoons. But for the look of a lawn with none of the expense and headache, artificial grass is proving to be a popular alternative. Clover – White clover (Trifolium repens) is a fast-growing, rapidly spreading creeper that reaches a height of four to eight inches. A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. (Liriope muscari) Commonly called liriope, this evergreen ground cover features dark green … Conclusion for Drought-Tolerant Lawns. Clover is often planted by gardeners as an eco friendly soil conditioner. But it is possible to amend that soil over time (the not-so-secret secret is compost), while choosing hardy plants that don’t mind the current state of affairs in your yard. These varieties can either replace a typical lawn completely, or be sown in with regular grass to reduce the water needs of a lawn. There is much less mowing required, less water consumption and includes a natural nitrogen fixing clover. With drought-like conditions across Western Canada, keeping your lawn lush and green can be a real pain in the grass. Some savvy green thumbs will build tidy rows of raised beds in lieu of a lawn. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped … We do not want to plant grass due to maintenance. regions on Monday, Calgary man arrested, accused of defying COVID-19 guidelines, Ontario will enter province-wide lockdown as of Christmas Eve, sources say. Dwarf cinquefoil can take more foot traffic than the other lawn alternatives I’ve planted, but it still can’t handle any soccer games. "A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses … The downside of “natural gardens” is that many cities simply don’t allow them. Low-growing thyme forms a beautiful and deliciously scented mat to cover large areas. There are eco-friendlier alternatives of grass seed blends you can sow if you’d still like to feel that soft, cool carpet under your feet on a hot summer day. Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable … “Just like us, bees need food and water,” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Garden Alchemy. A dry river rock bed, for example, will divert water off the property, filtering some along the way, so not as much ends up in the sewer system. This lawn alternative is more than just decorative. Sweepstakes; Newsletter; TV Schedule; Shows A-Z; Be On DIY; Features A-Z; How-Tos A to Z; Ways to Watch DIY Network; DIY Network Family. We have a large area of dirt (4 thousand square feet) that is needing coverage. White flowering clover makes a good lawn alternative and attracts plenty of pollinators. The state of California, in its fourth year of drought, is even going so far as to offer homeowners rebates if they rip out their lawns. SKU. Homeowners concerned about flooding or who have experienced wet spots in their basement may want to consider having a rain garden—a design that works with your property’s conditions to capture water in the front yard. Videos for Lawn Alternatives. Tara Nolan Many a frustrated homeowner has thrown up their hands at a dying lawn and declared: “I’m just going to pave over the whole thing.” True, paving is an option, but there are more visually appealing hardscaping options as well. But it’s okay to have a few dandelions or patches of clover. And eco-minded homeowners, realizing what a waste it is to water grass when you could devote your time to nurturing a garden that attracts beneficial insects and wildlife, have advanced the idea of getting rid of grass altogether. Alternative Lawn Mix Wildflowers. The added nitrogen also means that the lawn remains green, even in dry weather. HGTV Sites. Clover is an easy-to-care-for lawn alternative that’s often planted as a green cover crop to fix nitrogen in the soil, but it can also act as an ideal eco-friendly landscaping option. While there will always be those who enjoy lovingly tending to their lawns, many Canadians are likely wondering why they bother devoting their weekends to the whims of their yards. Planting flowers, of course, attracts a variety of pollinators, from bees to birds to butterflies. Want to switch up your lawn? Groundcovers and lawn alternatives. LawnLift, the biggest lawn paint distributor in Canada says its product dries quickly, is safe for pets, and will not rub off on shoes, clothes or paws. It may require more of an up-front investment, though, which will go toward raised beds, good soil, seeds, plants and protective materials, like fences and covers to keep out deer and pests. List of the Best Perennial Flowers. Food Network. Mike Prong, owner of Fern Ridge Eco Landscaping in Milton, Ont., says rain gardens are a great low-maintenance option that allow you to see where the water is moving. Feds weigh response to new COVID-19 strain amid call to ban travel from U.K. What we know about the U.K.'s new novel coronavirus variant, More EU nations ban travel from U.K., fearing virus variant, Winnipeg man in his 30s among 13 new COVID-19 deaths reported, NHL will return for shortened season on Jan. 13, 'It's not a mistake': Server tipped $1K by anonymous couple, Avalanche rescue dog races snowboarder down Colorado hill, Stunning natural ice sculptures form along Lake Ontario. And with pollinator populations in peril (apologies for all the alliteration), using your yard, however small, as a haven and food source, can help immensely. Clover was once considered a weed in the grass, but it’s surprisingly beneficial as a lawn plant. Low-growing groundcovers are perfect lawn alternatives. See more ideas about Lawn alternatives, Lawn, Garden design. © Copyright 2020 St. Joseph Communications. That’s not to say that having grass is bad—it’s way better than concrete, trapping dust, reducing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen. The good news for those who still want a field of green is the abundance of lawn substitutes that can accommodate foot traffic, pet traffic, and rounds of lawn games. Detractors point out that fake turf doesn’t offer the cooling effects of grass, nor a place for insects to thrive. Companies that will do the lawn spraying for you are sprouting up across the country, but do-it-yourselfers can also buy the paint concentrate, mix it with water and spray it themselves. When a lawn turns brown in the hottest, driest days of summer, it can mean one of two things: either the grass has gone… Lemon thyme’s lemony flavor is perfect for fish, and woolly thyme makes a delightfully … After they’re established, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often. And with all the compact varieties of tomatoes, peas, melons, etc., there’s no excuse for not being able to grow in a small space. Summer brings hot sunny days—and the odd deluge. Imagine ditching a monochrome green lawn for a field of flowers that attracts bumblebees and butterflies and is sustained only by the sun and the rain. Sweet woodruff is an edible herb, said to taste something like vanilla, and it gives … (Photo: Bushel and Berry). It doesn’t hurt the grass, and can be mowed away once the lawn starts growing again. An excellent green alternative for the cottage, clover is a weed you want: it has deep roots and doesn’t require much watering. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides. It might be hard to imagine what you would have instead of a lawn but there are all sorts of creative alternatives. With a softer feel and a more realistic look, artificial lawns can easily be mistaken for the real thing, which may be why they’re popping up in residential yards, commercial green spaces and even municipal areas such as boulevards. What to plant. Choosing the right mix of grasses and groundcover helps prevent weeds and pests. “In front yard spaces, opt for decorative and delicious edibles, like Peppermint Swiss chard, dinosaur kale, or purple beans,” suggests Niki Jabbour, author of Veggie Garden Remix. Here are some ideas to keep things interesting in the front yard. Finally, for those who are not quite ready to get rid of their lawns but still want to cut back on their water use, there are lots of options to mimic the look of soft grass but with a fraction of the maintenance. Either way, the result is a sad landscape that many homeowners can’t stand to look at. “Curly parsley or Greek basil are super compact and can be added to flower pots for visual interest and summer-long harvesting,” she adds. Tuck in a tomato with an obelisk overtop, and it will blend right in as an ornamental specimen. Prong recommends consulting a professional to assess the property and making sure a plan is made where the water is being conveyed the way it needs to. The summer has only just begun, but already communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta are in the midst of drought and appealing to homeowners not to waste water maintaining their lawns. But once established over a couple of years, native flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down. 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