Save Time, Money, and the Environment with These Alternative Landscaping Turf Backyard Ideas

Americans spend a lot of time and money each year to enhance their property’s curb appeal, and most of their efforts (and dollars) go towards maintaining a lush, green lawn.

But taking care of a traditional turf lawn is not just a time and money drain. Because grass requires water, chemical fertilizers, and frequent mowing (often gas-powered), upkeep for a residential turf lawn can have a damaging impact on the environment.

You certainly don’t have to remove your entire lawn, but you could allocate less space to it. It’s entirely possible to have a great-looking yard using alternatives to residential turf. Check out these ideas that will keep you from being a slave to your yard.


1. Carve Out a Garden Bed (or Two)

Add some color and interest to your yard with shrubs, flowers, ornamental grasses, and large rocks or boulders. For easy garden upkeep, choose native plants that will thrive in Austin’s climate and adjust well to the type of soil you have. Throw away those garden catalogs and shop at nurseries that carry locally-sourced plants and flowers.

To get the biggest payoff from your garden, buy perennials rather than annuals—perennials come back every year. Also, self-seeding flowers and plants will fill in your garden with little effort on your part.

2. Use Groundcovers as a Replacement for Grass

Fast-growing groundcover plants are a colorful alternative to grass and are often used in sloping areas that are traditionally more difficult to mow. In sunny areas, try native Texas plants like lamb’s ear, verbena, sedum, or creeping germander. Ajuga, mondo grass, plum yew, or Texas sedge will thrive in the shady or part-shade regions of your yard.

Besides limiting the areas you’ll need to mow, groundcovers also deter weeds and prevent erosion. Expect groundcover plants to grow no higher than four inches in height.

“Because grass requires water, chemical fertilizers, and frequent mowing (often gas-powered), upkeep for a residential turf lawn can have a damaging impact on the environment. ”

3. Incorporate Decorative Rocks or Gravel into your Landscape Plan

Gravel provides a nice contrast to grass and other plants—both in color and texture. Depending on the color you choose and the way it’s distributed, you can put together a look that satisfies any design esthetic. Besides enhancing your yard’s look, gravel also provides these benefits:

  • Durability – holds up in all weather conditions and it won’t wear down when people walk on it
  • Cost – relatively inexpensive material for walkways
  • Drainage – tends not to puddle and can guide water into drains or creeks
  • Conservation – you don’t have to water it
  • Weed prevention – you won’t have to pull weeds by hand or apply a chemical product to inhibit their growth

Use gravel in combination with pavers to establish a walkway or path. You can even substitute gravel for traditional mulch materials.

4. Install Residential Artificial Turf

If you prefer the look of a sweeping green lawn but don’t want to work so hard to get it, consider using synthetic turf as an alternative to natural grass.

You may hold some preconceived notions about artificial grass based on what you know about the fake turf used for professional sports teams. But the materials used for playing sports are designed specifically for shock absorbance and they neither look nor perform like synthetic grass for residential use.

If you replace all or some of your natural grass with artificial turf, you won’t end up with the residential field turf version of what you’d find in Cowboys’ stadium.

If you’re worried that fake grass won’t look realistic, know that advanced manufacturing processes are able to create an artificial lawn that resembles the appearance and texture of real grass. And today’s artificial turf features non-glossy blades and is made using advanced cooling technology that can counteract the sun’s heat.

With artificial turf, you’ll have the appearance of a beautiful lawn plus all of these other benefits:

  • Cost savings – You won’t need to spend on big bags on fertilizer or pay for mowing service.
  • Low maintenance – There’s virtually no maintenance required besides occasional rinsing and raking to remove dirt and debris.
  • Environmentally friendly – You won’t contribute to contaminated rainwater runoff that flows to rivers, lakes, and streams, and you’ll conserve water.
  • Time savings – Use your free time to do things you enjoy rather than spend it trying to cultivate the perfect lawn.

Artificial turf is safe for kids and pets and is so durable it can last for up to 15 years.

Austin’s Premier Artificial Turf Company

If you’re thinking about making a major change to your yard, you’ll want to work with a company that offers the highest quality products and has successfully designed Austin’s outdoor spaces for more than 30 years.

Texas Turf is a family-owned company that’s dedicated to meeting the unique needs of our customers. Let us show you how artificial turf can revitalize your property, save you money, and extend your free time.

Contact us at our Austin location for a free consultation or call us at (512) 766-6223.

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