There’s no denying that people love seeing a verdant, well-manicured lawn. Mother Nature, on the other hand, certainly has reservations about them. The country’s 47 million acres of grass-covered lawns require a lot of water for maintenance—about 60 gallons per household according to estimates. Then, you have the pesticides and herbicides needed to keep them picture perfect, which eventually run off into lakes and streams.
Thankfully, those who want a beautiful and environmentally friendly lawn have plenty of alternative ground covers to choose from. NJ landscape company Scenic Landscaping highlights three of the most popular ones:
If your lawn has plenty of shade and acidic soil, consider planting moss instead of turf grass. Unlike the latter, moss gets its nutrition and moisture from the air instead of the earth (it has rhizoids, not roots). Once, moss settles in, it requires very little watering and maintenance, making it perfect for environmentally conscious homeowners.
Clover isn’t just for luck; it makes for an excellent ground cover as well. As this article from HouseLogic.com notes:
“Although clover has gotten a bad rap as a weed, it’s actually not a weed at all. In fact, a clover lawn (or, for high-traffic areas, a clover-grass mix) has many advantages. Sweet-scented, inexpensive, and quite durable, white clover (Trifolium repens) grows in any kind of soil, stays green even during low-water periods, and feels lovely underfoot.
Low-growing clover doesn’t need regular cutting, nor does it need fertilizer, but an occasional mow will encourage new growth and discourage bees. If you don’t mind the bees, consider letting your clover bloom, which benefits the bees and the environment. Clover is one of the least expensive groundcover options, costing about $4 to seed 4,000 square feet.”
Who said that ground cover has to be green? If you want a splash of color on your lawn, you can plant elfin thyme instead. This variant of the oft-used spice grows into a solid mat of green leaves punctuated by light pink flowers in the summer. Elfin thyme is also very drought-resistant and holds up surprisingly well to foot traffic.
There are many more options you can choose from, and a renowned contractor can utilize hassle-free groundcovers when they landscape your NJ lawn. Not only will your yard look great, you’ll feel great about it, too.
(Source: Low-Maintenance Lawn Alternatives: Ground Cover, HouseLogic.com, March 18, 2010)