When you envision the perfect yard, you probably see lots of thick, green grass. In the real world, however, that just isn’t the case for everyone; maybe even you. Perhaps you don’t have the time to care for it the way it needs or there is a stubborn patch that won’t grow despite all of the time you do spend on it. Whatever the reason, those patches are an eyesore and you deserve better.No need to fret, though. There are some viable options to help you work with your yard instead of against it. By thinking outside the box, you can turn the dead grass (or non-existent grass) into something usable! Let’s take a look at some options.
Diagnosing the Problem
Before we completely give up hope on the grass, however, let’s go over some of the reasons why your grass may not be growing. You know, just in case you missed something. Despite what seems like a given, grass is not all that easy to maintain—at least when compared to other ground cover. Keeping on top of the watering is important, as is making sure you aren’t scalping the yard when you mow.
Nutrients in the soil is another biggy. If you are doing the watering and not mowing too closely, but your grass still won’t grow, you may want to try a soil test. This will tell if your soil has the proper nutrients to feed your grass. If you are lacking in some nutrients, then you know what to look for when scoping out lawn fertilizers. A soil test isn’t cheap, though. Depending on where you get one, it can run in the neighborhood of $1,000 – $1,500.
Say you’ve tried all of this and you are still having no luck. It might just be that the section of grass (or not grass) in question isn’t getting enough sunlight. To grow properly, your grass really needs about six hours of sunlight a day. Common locations where grass doesn’t get enough light can include right next to your house or under shady trees.
One very common way to transform that trouble spot is to put a patio there! A patio doesn’t require much maintenance and it offers you options for creating a usable space that is tailored to your tastes.
Make it comfy with some outdoor furniture. Remember to keep the furniture weather-resistant so an evening of rain doesn’t put you out for days. How about a fireplace, fire pit, or chiminea? These are great for those long summer nights. There are countless possibilities, so start looking early if you decide a patio is the way to go. It will help with the budgeting.
So, you still want that green look despite the grass’s reluctance to be cooperative. Turf is an option that is pretty low-maintenance, but still gives the appearance of grass. Turf has come a long way from basic outdoor carpeting. Advances in synthetic grass can offer a very genuine grass appearance. Depending upon how much you need, turf can be costly, though. That said, it lasts for a very long time. So, divide the cost by the years to help negate any sticker shock.
Mulch Looks Great
If your grass situation involves it just not growing some places, but growing fine in others, mulch might be a good way to spruce things up without having to remove the grass that is growing. This is a particularly good option for those spots next to the house or around the base of shade trees that we mentioned earlier. As an added bonus, mulch fertilizes plants as it breaks down, helping to create a hospitable environment for flowers. The maintenance is also much more manageable than grass. Simply replace the mulch once a year. Spring is an ideal time to do this.
A Water Feature
A popular landscape option in recent years, water features can offer a unique look to your yard. Whether a pond or a fountain, a water feature can add an element of tranquility. If you want to keep the maintenance to a minimum, you should opt for a concrete or fiberglass liner. You can even double down on ideas and surround the perimeter of your water feature with some mulch and/or some shrubs.
While we don’t tend to think of it that way, grass is really just one type of ground cover. It’s not the only one, though. There are several other plants that can thrive where grass doesn’t. Some of them even flower for added color. As an added bonus, you can usually get some great ground cover options from your local nursery, greenhouse, or home improvement store. Some popular options include:
Let’s Play Around
One really fun option, especially if you have kids, is to install some sort of play area. If you want a way to get the kids outside and playing rather than being inside and glued to their devices, it doesn’t get much better than a play area. You’ll want to start by laying down some rubber mulch or sand to help break the inevitable falls. Then you can erect a swing set or some other play structure. The maintenance is really manageable. You just need to fill back in the mulch or sand as needed. You can find any number of playground sets at several big box stores.
If you don’t have children, you can still turn that area into something recreational. How about horseshoe pits? Perhaps a bocce ball court? Get creative!
If your grass won’t grow, don’t let it get the best of you. With some good landscaping ideas, you can turn the tables on your yard and have a lot of fun in the process. If you don’t have the time to pull off any of these ideas, or would just like to leave it to the professionals, contact E.P.M. today or call us at (517) 990-0110.