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. 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. regions on Monday, Calgary man arrested, accused of defying COVID-19 guidelines, Ontario will enter province-wide lockdown as of Christmas Eve, sources say. “Just like us, bees need food and water,” adds Stephanie Rose, author of Garden Alchemy. It grows quickly and … White flowering clover makes a good lawn alternative and attracts plenty of pollinators. Overburdened sewer systems can sometimes spell bad news for basements as the excess water has nowhere else to go, and aging infrastructure fails. Full sun; Part shade; Less work, less water. Either way, the result is a sad landscape that many homeowners can’t stand to look at. 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. © Copyright 2020 St. Joseph Communications. As I went down the alternative rabbit hole, I learned that once the new lawn has been established, a wide variety of plants, such as mosses, sedges, clovers and other wildflowers can essentially take care of themselves. 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. 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. Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable … 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. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides. 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. 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. Sweet woodruff is an edible herb, said to taste something like vanilla, and it gives … A few options to consider: Creeping thyme. 11-year-old dies after falling through ice in Milton, Ont. But it’s okay to have a few dandelions or patches of clover. Tara Nolan Above: Clovers and a mix of wildflowers turn turf into a meadow. This lawn alternative is more than just decorative. Sweet Woodruff. But once established over a couple of years, native flower gardens becomes virtually maintenance-free, requiring only an occasional mow-down. Conclusion for Drought-Tolerant Lawns. We do not want to plant grass due to maintenance. As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. A tomato with obelisk. Food Network. 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. 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. 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). Each year, we inevitably see news reports showing the destruction one heavy rainfall can bring. We have a large area of dirt (4 thousand square feet) that is needing coverage. You can provide shelters, like a pollinator palace for beneficial insects. What to plant. They have bylaws in place restricting plant height, usually to avoid seed spread, and deter vermin. the one offered by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. (For the most part, you need six to eight hours of sun a day for crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.) Artificial grass has come a long way since the AstroTurf days of the 1960s. Fortunately, there are a number of lawn alternative options that require no chemical treatments and have much lower water needs. There is one major problem with using plants other than grasses. On this page. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped … 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. It creates nitrogen, enriching the soil and helping other plants grow stronger. 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. Fescues and ryegrasses are not as soft as turf grass, and while clover is soft, it can also flower and attract bees. 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. Detractors point out that fake turf doesn’t offer the cooling effects of grass, nor a place for insects to thrive. (Liriope muscari) Commonly called liriope, this evergreen ground cover features dark green … Stone or Sand. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. 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. 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. Updated April 6, 2020, Pot of blueberries. (Photo: Donna Griffith). Gravel is another alternative to grass lawn. 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. The downsides of these grass alternatives is the seeds are often hard to find in stores, but can be ordered online. CanPlant is a helpful resource with a database to identify ecologically appropriate native plant species. Lawn alternative (Question) I’m looking for a sort of lawn alternative. 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. this wildflower and grass mix is great for the environment and also eco-friendly. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. (Photo: Bushel and Berry). A tidy lawn with no weeds in sight is fast becoming antiquated. Sometimes referred to as "natural landscaping" or "xeriscaping," lawn alternative landscaping often includes elements like decorative grasses, flower and shrub beds, and mulch. Why slave away at real grass when the fake stuff looks almost as good? 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. 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. You would be hard pressed to find a thirstier water guzzler than a patch of grass. “Curly parsley or Greek basil are super compact and can be added to flower pots for visual interest and summer-long harvesting,” she adds. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull). It might be hard to imagine what you would have instead of a lawn but there are all sorts of creative alternatives. "A great solution for places with little or variable natural rain, gravel or sand expanses … The added nitrogen also means that the lawn remains green, even in dry weather. These varieties can either replace a typical lawn completely, or be sown in with regular grass to reduce the water needs of a lawn. 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. Alternative Lawn Mix Wildflowers. Dwarf cinquefoil can take more foot traffic than the other lawn alternatives I’ve planted, but it still can’t handle any soccer games. 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. 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. HGTV Sites. For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … More and more homeowners are ripping up turf in favour of plants and wildflowers that grow with almost no help at all. 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. Health Canada’s ban and management of cosmetic herbicides and pesticides helped with this shift a few years ago. The selective weedkillers we use on lawns seek out and kill broadleaved (or dicotyledonous) plants only, which is why they don’t kill grasses. Lawn Alternatives: Groundcovers. It doesn’t hurt the grass, and can be mowed away once the lawn starts growing again. Not all kinds of plants, however, are suitable for all kinds of Canadian … Tuck in a tomato with an obelisk overtop, and it will blend right in as an ornamental specimen. Here are some ideas to keep things interesting in the front yard. See more ideas about Lawn alternatives, Lawn, Garden design. Flowering shrubs and regional wildflowers are good options for inviting honeybees. 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. Includes a natural nitrogen fixing clover weeks or more the grass for 12 weeks or more would... 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