If you’re looking for a budget makeover that requires minimal upkeep, these inexpensive no-grass backyard ideas are perfect for you.
While seed-grown grass is a fast and inexpensive way to cover a yard, it comes with some downsides. Mowing and feeding, for example, require a lot of effort, as does scarifying and aerating.
For smaller plots, you’ll need somewhere to store your mower, which can be difficult. If your garden lacks in sunlight, Lawns don’t like it either, so keeping it looking great will be difficult.
The digging up and preparing the soil for turf preparation process is lengthy, to say the least, if you’re working with a paved courtyard.
Thankfully, there are a slew of inexpensive alternatives to grass in the form of backyard ideas. To help you get inspired, we’ve gathered several of our favorite strategies.
Our roundup of cheap no-grass backyard ideas has something for everyone from gorgeous gravel to perfect paving.
- CREATE A WOODLAND VIBE WITH WINDING PATHS
- Embrace Outdoor Living
- Go for Gravel
- Artificial Turf
- Grow a no-mow wildflower yard
- Ground Cover
- Elegant Elements
- Erect a Sauna
- Use Mulch Alternative
- PICK CLICK-TOGETHER FLOORING
- SHAGGY CHIC
- KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH BARK CHIPPINGS
- ADD A RELAXING WATER FEATURE
- Sustainable Vibes
- PAVE A BEAUTIFUL PATIO
- Fire Pits
- GO FOR GRAVEL
Don’t let a small budget stop you from achieving your goals. There are several low-cost grass substitutes available. Any evidence of the native grasses should be removed carefully. The grass will not attempt to make a come-back since it is prevented from doing so.
Pea gravel, shell fragments, or mulch might be used to cover the area. Cover the ground with sand and arrange some big boulders to create a rock garden.
Make sure that your new yard has the appropriate drainage. You’ll need a water strategy now that the grass has served as a natural drain. Otherwise, you’ll get enormous puddles that will grow mold and fungus.
CREATE A WOODLAND VIBE WITH WINDING PATHS
A winding stone walkway leading to a secluded seating area is simple to construct and will provide any setting a charming ambiance. To keep costs down, use repurposed pavers, bricks, and/or logs.
Surrounded by pockets of lush foliage in a contrasting color, with budget-friendly gravel or wood chippings.
These hostas mounds will flourish in the shade and provide a cooling, jungle-like atmosphere. For a final touch, add a couple of containers. Seasonal flowers may be used to alternately replace them. Our guide has a wealth of additional garden path ideas.
Embrace Outdoor Living
By replacing your grass with a huge patio for socializing and entertaining, you’ll make lawn mowing a thing of the past. This family did it by creating a lovely outdoor seating area with planting beds around it.
Lawn space is further limited by a broad garden walk around a fountain. With a push mower, the final remaining patches of grass are quickly tamed in just a few minutes.
Go for Gravel
Replace your grass with gravel for a simple solution to neglected backyards. The little stones appear to be contemporary and architecturally designed, and homeowners will barely notice the foliage when it’s installed correctly.
Never worry about mowing your lawn again by laying artificial grass down. Artificial turf grass has a low maintenance requirement and is stunning throughout the year. Regardless of the soil’s health or how much rain you receive, you may have green grass.
Grow a no-mow wildflower yard
Create a no-mow wildflower garden that you can enjoy without having to care for it. Watch your yard flourish with just a few scattered packets of wildflower seeds.
The climate, quantity of sunlight, and slope of the yard are all taken into consideration when selecting ground cover.
The presence of mountains or bogs, as well as their degree of traffic, may influence decisions. Chamomile, clover, and thyme are among the most popular ground cover options. Zone 6-9 are the best locations for decorative grasses.
Many flowering ground coverings are on display at Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, not only the above factors but also fragrance, color, and design. There’s a ground cover called Drought Tolerant Bulbine. Professionally maintained gardens, as well as native wildflowers, may be seen.
Gravel comes in three colors: white, gray, and black. Pick the one that suits you best. Note that if you just want to walk on gravel for the sake of looking nice, crushed rock, which is sharper, may suffice.
A variety of distinctive design concepts may be found in the terrace garden of an English-inspired cottage. H. & Missy Madden For its Cotswold-style courtyard and garden, Bellweather Landscape Architects’ Todd Yeager used low-growing plants – blue star creeper and dwarf mondo grass – to create a parterre.
Beyond the gravel path are ferns and lamb’s ears planted. In Georgia’s Serenbe neighborhood, emerald arborvitae screen the property.
Erect a Sauna
A modest, lack-luster backyard can be transformed into a lovely oasis with a tiny two- or one-person sauna. In addition, since you’ll be able to install a free-standing sauna outside, you won’t have to worry about ventilating your interiors.
You may acquire a prefabricated sauna or develop an architecturally distinct structure that enchants the garden by drawing ideas from Alexander Design’s outdoor sauna.
Use Mulch Alternative
Mulch is costly and time-consuming to install, but it helps conserve water while weeding your garden. For a fraction of the cost, try these mulch alternatives for landscaping.
Grass Clippings: Collect the clippings from your lawn and spread them across your flower beds next time you mow.
Shredded leaves are a cost-effective mulch that provides nutrients to your plants.
Pine Needles: A lightweight and simple to spread mulch option that is low-maintenance.
If you have already built your own compost bin, put it to good use in your yard. Too much can heat up your plants and harm them, so keep an eye on how thick you layer it.
Newspaper: Let your plants take a peek after you’ve finished reading the Sunday paper. Before planting, wet the ground for five pages and then topsoil over it.
Stone: While stone mulch isn’t appropriate for every plant, it will help you save money on weeding and upkeep in the long term if applied correctly. Choosing the proper location for your stone mulch is critical, according to Steve Boehme of GoodSeed Farm Landscapes.
In aesthetic settings like in-ground pool decks, traffic islands, and tiny beds between buildings and pavement, stone mulch performs especially well.
Since grass trimmings and other organic debris will not be as likely to soil the stone mulch in these situations, this is the case. Stone mulch also poses less of a risk of washing onto pavements or blowing into swimming pools than wood mulch.
According to GreenPal’s Gene Caballero, “pine mulch is way less expensive than hardwood mulch and more transportable and applyable.” If you’re set on classic mulch, this is the best option.
PICK CLICK-TOGETHER FLOORING
Is it difficult to work with a small plot? To avoid the trouble of maintaining a small patch of grass, you’ll need some inexpensive no-grass backyard ideas.
These Decking Tiles click together to offer a fast renovation. An faded, unattractive patio, a bleak stretch of concrete, or even a balcony will be immediately rejuvenated. The best thing is that you can take them with you when you move, making them a fantastic option for rentals.
For an outdoor living atmosphere that feels new, contemporary, and fun, pair it with a brightly-colored restaurant, some lovely lanterns, and vases filled with flowers, herbs, and veggies.
An extensive appearance is created while passers-by are welcomed by a cost-effective, transparent hogwire fence. Plants can also thrust their stems through, giving the impression of being wild.
Ceanothus “Carmel Creeper” or Emerald Carpet Manzanita are low-water groundcover species that are effective at filling in gaps between taller plants. When used correctly, groundcovers can provide significant habitat value and create designs that look dense and lifelike.
This parkway strip has a captivating, wild feel thanks to a small selection of species arranged in low masses with organic edges. Always leave a passage or two open for people to pass through!
Groundcover plants spread widely to fill gaps between taller accents of ornamental grasses, potted Agaves, and decorative boulders in this Southern California front garden.
The groundcover responsibilities are divided by Blue Spruce Sedum, Emerald Carpet Manzanita, and Huntington Carpet Rosemary, resulting in an impressionistic mosaic of shifting hues and textures that is low upkeep and low on the water bill.
Grasses blow in the wind next to stock-still boulders and Agaves, rangy plants breach the crisp edges of the huge paver path, and fluid masses of planting contrast beautifully with the rigid geometry of the porch-path axis.
Canopy trees provide a beautiful, dappled light that bathes the entire area in a dreamy haze.
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH BARK CHIPPINGS
If you’re looking for cheap backyard ideas, bark chippings are a fantastic landscaping material. You can find them in bags at garden shops and home improvement shops, but you should contact your local tree surgeon or check online auction houses for better prices.
Pop some landscaping fabric down first to combat the weeds before using them as a path or as a more natural alternative to paving. Also remember that bark chippings are an excellent organic mulch for your flower beds.
Just keep in mind that they’ll want topping up from time to time. They’ll degrade over time, unlike gravel.
ADD A RELAXING WATER FEATURE
These characteristics will undoubtedly provide calming and sensory benefits to your plot, whether you choose a gently meandering waterfall or an exquisite backyard pond.
They don’t have to be expensive, especially if you make them yourself. You may dig them straight into the ground and add a liner if you have the area. For an organic feel, use a lot of pebbles and plants on both sides.
Alternatively, you can build a bigger display using a big container if space is at a premium. You may also listen to the trickling sounds while you relax nearby by adding a pump.
Bare is the way to go if your conscience can’t bear the thought of wasting a lot of water on grass. That doesn’t imply this sort is uninteresting: Take some ideas from this sustainable Nevada getaway to prove it.
The home’s roof was built to accommodate solar panels, while the tiled patio outwears add a touch of country authenticity.
PAVE A BEAUTIFUL PATIO
You’ll know that this is a winning strategy for transforming a yard if you’ve seen our Backyard Patio Ideas. Further, there are many different pavers to choose from, each ranging in price from small to big.
Paving is a fantastic option if you enjoy entertaining outdoors because it gives you a smart and stable foundation for all your garden furniture. Keep the design easy by keeping a comfy corner sofa and coffee table, or add a fire pit to really ramp up the cozy factor.
Break up zones by placing beautiful flowerbeds. Whether you prefer a calm, harmonious style or a burst of color, stick to a tonal palette.
Enjoy the greatest fire pits that are fueled by gas or wood while you warm up after a chilly sun-downer. Lava rock, fire glass, and ceramic log sets are just a few examples of different fires media.
These may be used to build a real fire-breathing dragon that warms and adds atmosphere to an outside area. When it comes to the design of real fire pits, there are no boundaries to creativity.
GO FOR GRAVEL
Gravel is a fantastic option for landscaping in your own back yard. It’s inexpensive, requires very little upkeep, and is simple to set up.
It’s also a excellent rainwater collector, allowing you to avoid flash floods in your yard. Instead of paving a patio, use it to cover wide swaths of land, as seen here. Stones will stay in place if you add edging to the borders.
For additional visual appeal and color, add drought tolerant plants and bushes right into it, as well as a bigger rock here and there for a realistic effect.