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Garden Soil; Grass Lawn Alternatives
If you’ve been tasked with the tedious task of cutting the grass lawn, you’re familiar with the noisy mower and the headache it inevitably causes! There is of course that ‘I could be doing anything else’ feeling. Well, luckily for Niagara homeowners willing to take the plunge and break the binds of conformability, you have options worth considering. Although there is a beautiful, homey feel to a well-groomed grass lawn, some may be tempted by the idea of other forms of low-grown plants that rarely – if ever – grow tall enough to warrant being mowed.
While not as far down the spectrum to regular grass as what you’ll read below, Buffalo grass requires significantly less maintenance and caters to those who place far less emphasis on lawn upkeep. It needs much less water than normal grass and even less fertilizer (or none at all). Mowing becomes less-frequent and it is recommended that buffalo grass grow with minimal yearly cuts, preventing unwanted weed growth.
Clover’s versatility allows for growth in a variety of places without the requirement of good soil. A bi-seasonal cut to help promote fresh growth and replace winter-burnt stock. It is a legume, so it’s adaptable to surroundings, without the need of fertilizer. Minimal watering is required, but useful in dry conditions. It has a naturally dark shade and can almost look like grass from a distance. It’s not as sturdy as common grass when walked on and is prone to leaving a trail, but remains easy on bare feet.
One of the more self-sufficient alternatives to grass lawns is moss. It doesn’t require much sunlight and is able to best grow in moist settings, with no fertilizer required. It grows into the ground with rhizoids rather than roots. Despite slower-to-no growth in the winter months, Moss quickly regains its growing capabilities when the climate warms. It’s one of the lowest-growing options and therefore requires next to no mowing or trimming. In terms of durability, Moss is delicate due to not having roots. It is capable of withstanding light foot traffic, but shouldn’t be frequently stepped on or made available to pets.
Offering a touch of flexibility, sedges can have a picturesque appearance when allowed to grow a little, while also exhibiting a cleaner cut version with very seldom mowing. Like clover, it is very good at growing in a variety of soil qualities. It requires a spring cut to rid winter burn, but recommended to be left to grow fully afterward. Another positive factor of Sedges are the ability to withstand a fair portion of walking traffic without trailing.
It can be a radical change, but for those willing to adapt, there is a plethora of benefits that the listed low-growing plants offer as an alternative to natural grass. Whether it is due to a lack of physical capability to handle the maintenance of grass lawn care or simply the maddeningly tedious process of it all, it may be worth investing in a number of the available options.