Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:03 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Lawn alternatives

Okay, so I've found myself living in suburbia where every house looks the same, with two or three cars in the driveway, and a dead lawn. :roll:

For environmental reasons, I refuse to water my lawn, and find myself actually looking down my nose at those few lush, green lawns of which their environmentally-oblivious owners are so proud. Not to mention the fact that with a 7-month baby at home, I wouldn't have time for watering, anyway!

My question is: Where can I find a lawn alternative that:
- requires no watering
- requires no / little mowing
- won't shrivel up and die in a SW Ontario summer (full-sun location)
- looks a little 'different' but still 'lawn-ish' (ie. not a wildflower meadow)
- won't get me lynched by the neighbours?

Is there such a thing? :D

Please help!


Senior Member
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:13 pm
Location: Middle Georgia USA

I never understood the mindless people who watered and fertilized their yards only to have to mow them a week later. And then start the cycle over again.
Mondo grass is a low growing grass but it would takea lot of plugs to get a good sized yard started but it looks nice when it fills in.
I know you said no flower meadow but it sure looks nice and attracts alot of butterflys and bees.
Check with a local extension agent to see what grasses will grow in your areaand are easy to maintain and no mow I know there are several out there.
I for one am all about removing all of my lawn and putting down cardboard mulch and compost on top of that and growing a garden right in the front yard.

Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: St. Louis

I got rid of my front lawn when I lived in Virginia by having a load of compost dumped on it (8 sq yards). The compost was heavy enough to kill the grass, and when the grass broke down, it left a layer of nice compost for the roots to grow through.

I planted drought hardy large and small grasses on top and lots of beautiful perennials. The digging was easy, I didn't even reach the dead grass, I had so much good soil on top. I finished it off with a four-inch layer of cypress mulch and got a bunch of cheap slate slabs to create walkways. No digging and the plants were very happy.

The quality of the compost will have some bearing upon whether this works for you. Mine wasn't so nitrogen-rich that the plants "burned." I tried this with so-called topsoil before but had to amend it heavily because it was so "dead."

Some small lawns in the city here use ivy, though, and that looks great too once established.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 9477
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:59 pm
Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

Buffalo grass needs very little watering at all. It's the recommended grass for water challenged areas like New Mexico, if you want to go with grass. That's what I used when I lived in Santa Fe, NM on the recommendation of Scott Reil.

Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: St. Louis

I looked it up, it's beautiful. But only for zone 6 and higher...wah. The information on the page I found said it only requires 1/3 inch of water per week. nice!

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