Whether you own your home or are renting, you know the feeling that comes with having a beautiful yard. The grass is freshly mowed, flowers are in bloom, and the trees and bushes are trimmed just right.
It’s a peaceful sight that you’re proud of as people compliment you on your property. However, it takes a lot of work to maintain even the basic levels of upkeep, and lawn mowing gets old after a while.
Depending on where you live, and the time of year it is, skipping out on your weekly or bi-weekly mowing task means an overgrown yard. Sometimes, the job is a great way to relax and get fresh air and a bit of exercise. Other times, though, it’s a flat-out hassle.
You could pay a lawn mowing company to do the work for you, but that’s not the only option you have. If you want to take care of your yard yourself without the headache of mowing, try these five low-maintenance alternatives.
How to Take Care of Your Property Without Mowing
In real estate, there’s a category called “curb appeal.” This refers to how the outside of your home looks when someone drives past it. The better the curb appeal, the more value your property has.
It’s possible to keep up your curb appeal without a lot of effort by using any or all of these methods:
1. Artificial Grass
In some climates, it’s hard to keep your yard healthy. Places like Vegas have hot temperatures and dry air. How do you get curb appeal in geographic locations like that?
The solution is artificial grass installation. A one-time installation allows you minimal maintenance and a beautiful yard all year. It doesn’t matter how little or much rain you have or what the temperature is with artificial grass.
In the past, artificial grass looked, well, fake. Today’s improved technology is so impressive that using a professional installation company can make it hard to tell the difference between what’s artificial and what’s real grass.
Your lawn will be healthier, and weeds and pests will quickly disappear without the dangerous pesticides and other chemicals. If your home is prone to fast saturation when it rains, there will be no more mud and puddles to deal with. And during dry periods, any local water restrictions won’t bother you because you don’t have to water your yard anymore!
Most importantly, you get your time back. Your weekends and days off are free to do whatever you’d like instead of mowing your yard for hours.
2. Add Succulents
Succulents are easy to plant and simple to keep up with. The plants store water in their leaves, so they don’t need to be tended to as often as grass and other flowers. In fact, they do best in dry climates without a lot of humidity. Too much water can kill them.
Thick and fleshy leaves are the trademark of the succulent plant. There are more than 10,000 species, though. You can be picky as you look for varieties that grow into what you want them to look like at maturity. Each type has different leaves, flowers, sizes, and care requirements.
The first time you plant them, make sure you use succulent-specific soil. Plant each one in a mound with space between them to spread and grow. Once your succulents are planted, they don’t require much care. They actually grow better if they’re only watered occasionally.
Preventing Succulent Flooding
For anyone living in a climate with a lot of rainfall, your succulents can get soggy and wash away. Surrounding them with large rocks or planting them in a raised area can reduce the moisture they get.
Cover them with plastic tarps before it rains, or build an off-the-ground covering, similar to an open shed, over them. That way, they still get the airflow and sunshine they need, but they’ll only get the water from the ground.
Succulents in a small garden can be covered with a secured patio umbrella instead of an entire structure designed just for them.
3. Put in a Rock Garden
As the name implies, a rock garden replaces your garden with stones. These can be any type of rock you prefer, from a few large boulders to thousands of tiny pebbles. It’s easy to buy artificial rocks and large stones. Or, if you live near a public quarry, you can excavate them yourself.
To install a rock garden, you need to start with clear land. Get rid of any undergrowth and vegetation in the yard, except in the small areas where you want it to grow. Your plants will grow best if you include a drainage layer, then a sand layer, and a finished soil layer on top.
Chances are, you’ll still have some weeds and stubborn perennials popping through the rocks occasionally. These are easy to get rid of as you’re tending the other plants in your garden.
Then, anywhere you want to add mulch or stone, use an edger to make enough space to prevent it from washing away. Design your dream garden and add the rocks to create it, and you won’t have to mow anymore!
Other takes on this idea include rock pathways and stone beds interspersed throughout the yard rather than in one large garden.
4. Make a Gravel Yard
Similar to a rock garden, a gravel yard expands the idea and covers your entire property. Take away the grass and go unique with a gravel yard.
You can still create small patches of mulch for plants, but the majority of the ground won’t require any maintenance.
If you see a few weeds peeking through, grab them by the root and yank them out before they take over. But it’s harder for any greenery to grow through gravel.
Making a gravel yard can be a DIY project if you have the equipment. Otherwise, use professionals to bring in a load of tiny stones. Spread them out across your lawn, and add greenery anywhere you want some color, no mowing necessary.
5. Spread Your Mulch Beyond the Edges
Many of us already use mulch along the perimeter of our homes to help our plants grow. But did you know you replace your grass with mulch, too?
Cedar and pine bark chips are a no-mow way to enhance your curb appeal. You can still have beautiful greenery amongst the mulch, and all you need to do is occasionally rake any strays back into place.
Mulch reduces how much water evaporates out of your soil, which is why it’s usually used around plants and in flower beds. The soil aerates better, spreading air and water to the roots faster.
It doesn’t matter if the ground is extremely sandy or not because the mulch adds nutrients to any soil and helps it retain water. However, keep in mind that any kind of mulch creates a moist, dark environment perfect for pests like earwigs and cutworms.
It’s also harder for new seeds to grow in a mulched area. When you’re starting a plant from a seed, germinate it first in a pot, then transfer it over to the mulch when it’s strong enough to handle the movement.
6. Build an Extra Room
Is having more space in your home important? Do you rarely use your yard anyway?
Why not consider having an extra room or a patio built in your backyard? The additional room that extends from your house may make up for the lost property value of not having a yard. And if it gives you the freedom to have a patio deck, office, or spare room, it’s worth the investment.
A concrete patio makes the ideal spot for entertaining company, barbecuing, or relaxing in a hammock or lounge chair. Maybe you’ve always wanted a library or a man/woman cave. Use that yard that’s going to waste and stressing you out with upkeep.
If the goal is to still have some greenery, leave a small perimeter around the new build-out. Fill it with beautiful shrubs or flowers covered with mulch, or use containers on the edges of your patio. Finish the look off with furniture that you can comfortably relax in while you reap the benefits of your new room.
Why Mow? Free Up Your Time and Boost Your Property Value
When you’re fed up with mowing your yard, you don’t have to deal with foot-high weeds or paying someone else to do the work. And a regular yard is nice, but it doesn’t do much for your curb appeal or the worth of your home.
Installing artificial grass or other lawn improvements can be a great investment. Not only are you saving valuable time, if you sell your home or need an equity line, your yard renovation could also boost your property value.
Instead of spending your days off tending to your yard, try one of these low-maintenance alternatives to regular grass. You might find you love the look, and you’ll definitely enjoy the extra time you have now that you’re not mowing!