Lawn Alternatives

Waterwise plantThe Pacific Northwest has many spectacular native, hybrid native, and other plants adapted to local climate and soil conditions.  Once established, these plants are very low maintenance, require little to no pesticides or fertilizers, and survive well on available water.

Depending on your site’s growing conditions and how you would like to utilize your landscape, you may want to consider one of the following alternatives to lawn:

Alternative Seed Mixes: Another popular alternative to turf has been the emergence of alternative lawn seed mixes used for areas that traditionally have been dedicated to turf grasses.  In general, alternative lawn seed mixes contain low growing, drought tolerant plant varieties that require less mowing and irrigation once established.

Groundcovers: Groundcovers come in a wide variety of textures and colors, and some have interesting features like flowers and berries.  Once established, groundcovers typically require much less water than lawns. In fact, some groundcovers can actually be planted in a way that will mimic the appearance of a traditional turf lawn without requiring water, fertilizer and maintenance in general. Many varieties can be walked on or used as foot paths due to their cushion-like feel and durability.

Shrubs and Trees: Shrubs and trees can provide dramatic impact to the way we experience a landscape.  Unlike turf, trees can eventually provide shade and protection from the wind.  In winter, deciduous trees will allow light to penetrate and help illuminate and warm structures. 

Shrubs and trees are available in virtually limitless sizes, shapes, textures and colors.  Shrubs and trees add structure and definition to a landscape and greatly enhance the habitat opportunities for local wildlife. Once established, they generally require much less water than a lawn, and in some cases, no supplemental irrigation is required after roots are deeply set.

Hardscapes: Hardscapes are a great way to enhance your yard.  The use of rocks, concrete and wood for pathways and patios adds texture and areas of interest to your landscape.

Looking for more in-depth information on lawns and lawn alternatives?  Download our PDF iconbrochure.

Lawn Alternatives