Lawn Replacement Ideas

9 Lawn Replacement Ideas for a Beautiful, Eco-Friendly Yard

Lawns can be a lot of work, and keeping your grass looking healthy and lush is quite a task. However, there are many great alternatives to a grass lawn that can provide a beautiful and eco-friendly yard. In today’s article, I’ll share nine of my favorite lawn replacement ideas that you can use as inspiration if you’re thinking of removing some or all of your traditional grass lawn.

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Certified Horticulturist Nicole Forsyth, M.S.

Replacing the lawn with wildflowers, adding gardens, and implementing other eco-friendly solutions can help reduce water usage, conserve energy, and, most importantly, improve the look of your yard.

Deciding the best choice for your property is going to depend on your personal tastes as well as the amount of work you are looking to put in during the short and the long term. is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Why Use An Alternative To Grass For Your Lawn?

Grass is not always the most eco-friendly choice for a lawn, and there are many potential benefits to replacing it. Lawns that don’t need as much maintenance and water usage as a grass lawn will help conserve energy and reduce water bills. They may also be better for the environment.

Having a grass lawn comes with additional responsibilities that are not only time-consuming but also quite costly.

Reasons to Replace Your Lawn

Grass requires regular fertilizing, watering, mowing, and trimming to keep it looking its best. Additionally, some parts of the country are putting restrictions on water usage for lawns, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy and beautiful grass lawn.

Having an alternative lawn gives you full flexibility to have not only a good-looking space but also one that doesn’t need as much upkeep and maintenance. Based on your budget, personal preferences, and level of commitment, there are plenty of options available to homeowners.

What Are 9 Of The Best Lawn Replacement Options To Consider?

There are almost infinite possibilities for what you can achieve with your alternative lawn, but here are 9 of the best choices to use instead of grass for your lawn.

Not only can you save yourself time, money, and effort, but you can also positively impact your local environment with your choice.

1.Wildflower Lawns For An Attractive And Low-Care Yard

One of the top ideas to replace your grass lawn is with a wildflower meadow. This will add beautiful colors, as well as attract bees and other pollinating insects. It will also require very little upkeep from you.

Replacing Your Lawn with Wildflowers

Wildflower lawns not only help your lawn look more attractive but also reduce water usage and can be used to help support the local wildlife.

Having a wide variety of flowers can bring color to your lawn and also benefit the local pollinator population (like bees) by providing an abundant area for them to visit and collect food. Wildflowers require very little maintenance, and you can choose whatever colors you’d like.

2.Xeriscaping: Removing The Need For Watering

Xeriscaping is the practice of landscaping with plants that require minimal watering and soil preparation.

Xeriscaping is a Popular Lawn Replacement Idea

This means less water usage for your lawn and also a much easier way to maintain it, as you won’t need to worry about regular mowing and trimming. The best part is this can still create a beautiful landscape without needing to use as much water.

The drought-tolerant plants used in xeriscaping are also very hardy and can withstand extreme temperature changes, and they last for many years without needing additional watering or maintenance.

3. Using Moss Instead Of Grass

While many homeowners try to remove moss from lawns, it’s actually a very popular choice for those looking to replace their grass lawns with something that requires very little maintenance and upkeep. Be aware, though, that you can only use it for yards that are in the shade, as moss doesn’t survive as well in direct sunlight.

Replace Your Lawn with Moss instead of Grass

Moss is a low-lying plant, so it does not require much mowing or trimming (unlike grass) and also requires almost no watering. This means you can save money on water bills and time on maintenance and still have a good-looking, green yard.

If you want an alternative that still has that neat and green look, moss can be a great option. Moss is also an excellent choice for those looking to create a natural look in their yards and gardens, as it looks attractive when planted alongside other plants.

4. Create A Vegetable Garden

Vegetable gardens are a practical and interesting alternative to traditional lawns. Growing your own produce not only saves you money but also helps you connect with nature and learn more about gardening.

One of my Favorite Lawn Replacement Ideas is to Remove your Grass Lawn and Put in a Vegetable Garden

You can choose which vegetables you’d like to grow based on what is in season or what tastes best to you. Additionally, growing fruits and veggies can be very rewarding and satisfying, as you can watch them grow and then eat what you have produced.

Vegetable gardens require regular watering and maintenance but still provide a great alternative to having a large grass lawn. You can either plant them directly into the ground-level soil or build raised garden beds that give your lawn an organized and attractive look.

5. Using Stones Or Pebbles As A Ground Cover

If you don’t want to use grass, stones and pebbles can be a great alternative. They are easy to install and require no maintenance other than occasional sweeping.

Replace Your Lawn with Stones or Pebbles as Ground Cover

Using stones and pebbles as a ground cover will give your lawn a neat, tidy look and also prevent weeds from growing. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and textures, so you can choose the look that best fits your home’s aesthetic.

The only issue you may encounter is plants or weeds growing in between the ground cover, which can be easily remedied with regular weeding or by using organic herbicides.

6. Install A Fire-Pit And Garden

A really great aesthetic that also offers a number of benefits for you and your family is to install a firepit surrounded by stones, pebbles, or even a garden bed. Enclosing your fire pit in stones or pebbles will help keep the fire contained while also providing a visually appealing design.

Replace Your Lawn with a Low-Maintenance Fire Pit Area

This is a great way to use your lawn space as a gathering spot for family and friends. Plus, you can also grow plants around the fire pit to create a lush garden oasis. This is a great way to add color and texture to your lawn while still having a functional area for entertaining.

Fire pits give you the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about a large grass lawn. They are also low-maintenance, and you can use the ashes for fertilizer or composting.

7. Build A Gazebo And Surround It With The Cover Of Your Choice

Gazebos are a great way to provide shade in your yard and add some character. You can choose from a variety of materials, such as wood, stone, or metal, to construct your gazebo and then surround it with a ground cover of your choice.

Add a Gazebo and Replace Your Surrounding Lawn with Perennial Beds or Ground Cover

This is a great way to create a cozy outdoor living area that you can use for relaxing or entertaining. You can also add plants and garden beds around the gazebo for the perfect outdoor oasis.

Gazebos are a great way to use your lawn space. Plus, they provide a functional area for you to enjoy while also making your property look more beautiful and upscale.

8. Use Artificial Turf that Looks Natural and Won’t Hurt the Environment

If you want a lawn without the hassle and maintenance, artificial turf is a great option. It looks like real grass but doesn’t require any watering or mowing. Plus, it is more environmentally friendly as it doesn’t need to be fertilized or treated with pesticides.

Replace Your Lawn with Artificial Turf that Doesn't Require Water, Fertilizer, or Maintenance

Getting your lawn ready to put down artificial turf is simple. All you need to do is level the ground and prepare a base before laying it down. Once installed, your artificial turf will give your lawn a neat, tidy look without any hassle or maintenance.

Artificial turf is also perfect for areas with pets or children as it is comfortable to play on and completely pet-safe. Plus, it drains easily, so you don’t have to worry about puddles or muddy patches.

9. Use Herbs That Make Suitable (And Edible) Lawns

Using herbs as a lawn can be a great option if you want something low maintenance and edible. This kind of lawn is more work than the other options on this list. However, you might decide that it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Herbs such as thyme, oregano, and specific types of chamomile can be a great base for your lawn.

Creeping Thyme as a Lawn Replacement Option
Creeping Thyme can be a beautiful, low-maintenance lawn-replacement ground cover

While planting a herb lawn takes quite a bit of work initially, it’s low maintenance after that. Herbs are perennial plants that will grow back each year. Herbs can give an interesting and unique look to your lawn while still being functional with minimal maintenance required.

Using herbs as your lawn can also be beneficial for the environment. They don’t require fertilizers or other chemical treatments. Plus, you can pick and dry the herbs to use in your cooking.

What Is The Best Way To Help Your Local Environment?

Helping your local environment is an important way to protect and sustain the natural resources around us. There are many ways to contribute, from small acts of conservation such as composting your food scraps in a compost bin or with a Lomi countertop composter, to larger projects that have a wider impact, like making a donation to charity:water – an organization I’m proud to support.

Our yards play a crucial role in our environment. Maintaining a healthy lawn can help to reduce erosion, improve air quality, provide habitat for wildlife, and protect water sources.

Adjusting your lawn care practices is one of the simplest ways to help your local environment. Even small steps can have a big impact. For example, you can reduce water consumption, use organic lawn care products, use fewer pesticides, and opt for native plants.

Using a lawn alternative such as artificial turf, gravel pathways, or a garden bed also reduces the need for mowing and fertilizing. This can help protect local wildlife habitats.

And if you do mow your lawn, consider going electric – especially if your local utility company gives you the option to choose renewable energy sources.

Making your lawn more environmentally friendly will have a positive impact on the surrounding environment. If everyone in your local area made even the smallest changes, it can stack up to a massive difference.

So, think about making your lawn more eco-friendly by using a grass alternative. You can reduce (and sometimes even eliminate) the costs of watering, fertilizing, and mowing.

What Are Some Other Things To Consider If You Have An Alternative Lawn?

An alternative lawn is a great way to save time and money while also having an attractive outdoor area. Gathering your thoughts and considering other factors when choosing an alternative lawn option is important if you want to get it right the first time.

Family in Backyard Garden

When deciding on the perfect lawn alternative, there are certain factors to consider. Think about your budget and the irrigation and maintenance needs of the materials and plants that you want to use.

If you choose a lawn alternative that doesn’t absorb rainfall, make sure you have the correct runoff management in place. If you don’t, you could end up with flooding and waterlogging.

Also, consider the local wildlife in your area when making a decision. Certain lawns can provide a home and food source for birds, insects, and other animals. You may increase the biodiversity of your garden.

Your local climate is also important. Areas that get heavy snowfall or areas that are dry and hot have different characteristics and needs. Addressing these factors will help ensure that your alternative lawn is a great choice for you and your local environment.

Choosing an alternative lawn is a great way to reduce your garden maintenance and save money. When selecting the best option for you, it’s important to consider various factors. Think about your budget, irrigation needs, runoff management, local wildlife habitats, and climates.

Make sure you keep all of the information I’ve provided here in mind if you want an alternative lawn. As I’ve explained here, there are several options to suit every taste.

Final Thoughts: Eco-Friendly Lawn Replacement Ideas

So, there you have it! If you don’t have the time to maintain a grass lawn, don’t want to invest the money in one, or are worried about the environment, there are plenty of grass alternatives available.

Choosing one or more of the lawn replacement ideas I’ve described here is a great way of making your property stand out. We’re all love perfectly groomed grass lawns, but a creative eco-friendly lawn can be just as impressive.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my list of 59 backyard lawn ideas for a landscape you’ll love before you go.

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

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