10 No Grass Backyard Ideas - Backyard Boss
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10 No Grass Backyard Ideas

Keeping a turf lawn green and pristine is no easy task! Factoring in the cost of a lawn mower with the effort it takes to cut, water, fertilize and weed your lawn tends to take the fun out of grass. Not to mention you may be battling the natural shapes and slopes in your yard space which make mowing extremely difficult.

Ditch your mower and get creative with no-grass backyard options! These ideas can save you time and effort in the long run while really upping the aesthetic of your backyard space. Turn your boring grass lawn into an outdoor paradise with these delightful no-mow backyard ideas!

10 No Grass Backyard Ideas

1. Utilize the Natural Landscape

Instead of battling with imperfections in your backyard, incorporate them into your no-grass space! Keep any large boulders in your yard as focal points and try planting rock gardens instead of grass. There are many types of plants that thrive in rocky areas which offer more appeal than a square of grass. Not to mention that leaving your rocks and boulders in place is a lot less effort than trying to remove them!

In addition to leaving your rocks in place, plant native species to yield a sustainable garden of plants that thrive naturally in your area. Look around your property to see which native plants may already be growing for some inspiration. Or do some research into what typically grows well in your specific climate. After some initial effort, a native garden is more low-maintenance than turf grass!

Skip the hassle of growing grass on a slope by planting luscious ground cover or sloped garden beds! Unlike grassy slopes, garden beds do not require expert handling with a lawn mower! This is a great way to enjoy the natural landscape in your yard while adding in some color. Create a color scheme and utilize plants that thrive in the shade for the darker areas of your backyard space.

2. Add a Water Feature

Further utilize the natural dips and peaks of your yard by creating a backyard waterfall! There are DIY options for all types of backyard spaces. Nothing is more charming than the beauty and sound of a trickling waterfall. Large or small, this is one of the best ways to create a show-stopping focal point in your backyard space!

Another great water feature option is a backyard pond. Use flowering plants around the outside of your design and consider adding fish or lily pads! If you’re concerned about creating a breeding zone for mosquitoes, a pond waterfall is a great option that combines the best of both worlds. The sound of running water is great for attracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Pollination is crucial to garden prosperity and nothing keeps the pollinators returning to your garden like a nice drinking and bathing spot!

An in-ground pool is a great space-filler for a no grass backyard if it’s in your budget. Children delight in water play and adults are provided a nice cool-down space in the heat of the summer! If an in-ground pool isn’t a good option for your space, above-ground pools may be installed in all shapes and sizes. Add texture to your space by adorning your above-ground pool with a decorative retaining wall. Or pop in a stock tank pool if space is really limited!

3. Plant Ornamental Grasses

If you’re lamenting the loss of grass in your yard, try planting no-mow, ornamental grasses. The tuffs of color are a cheery alternative to flat turf lawns! Choose from multiple varieties of ornamental grasses that add texture and height variation to your backyard garden design. Colorful varieties make great stand-out pieces on their own, while neutral-colored grasses are great for showing off statement plants or focal points in your backyard space. For those who appreciate some gardening ease, perennial options are available to enjoy season after season!

4. Create a Large(r) Deck Space

There is no better way to utilize your outdoor space than with a large deck! Expand your existing deck, or start from scratch to create your own style for your uniquely-shaped backyard.
A multi-level deck is a great way to create useable space out of a naturally bumpy or sloped landscape. Add stairs between your deck levels to complete the look and plant around your deck for added appeal.
Transform your backyard into an entertainment hotspot by sprucing up your deck space with outdoor decor. You can even add a bbq for outdoor cooking and more functionality!

5. Add a Patio

If a large deck isn’t in your budget or appropriate for your space, a small, outdoor patio is a great alternative to grass. Lay down stones or gravel to create a base, then add in patio furniture, plants and some outdoor lights! A patio is a great place to enjoy all that your backyard has to offer. Spend hours reading in the fresh air, enjoying the surrounding wildlife, or entertaining your friends and family.

One of the most fun parts of an outdoor patio is the decor! Create countless looks by choosing complimenting furniture colors and outdoor accessories. Make your space pop by adding decorative throw cushions or a colorful outdoor rug. When you’re finished with your color-coordinated masterpiece, hang whimsical string lights to pull your whole backyard space together!

If you have extra space on your patio you can even start a container garden!

6. Incorporate Container Gardens

Container gardens are a great way to add flowers around or on your deck or patio. They are also great options to place around water features or on ground conditions that are not conducive to growing plants.

Your container alone can make a huge statement! There are multiple color and material options for container planting. Fill your pots with endless combinations of plants and flowers that grow in similar conditions. Plant herbs for your kitchen or other greenery options to compliment the color-scheme of your space.

Regardless of the container or filler plants you choose, container gardens make great additions to a no-grass backyard!

7. Plant a Vegetable Garden or Raised Garden Bed

Instead of a turf lawn, use your backyard space to grow food for your family! Make the most of your space by planting vegetables or fruit trees you can harvest and serve at your table. Productive and beautiful, vegetable gardens are a great alternative to grass lawns.

If your yard is mainly flat, add a raised vegetable or flower garden to add interest to your space. Create a raised garden bed by adding mounds of dirt or containers to plant in!

8. Utilize Multiple Materials

Including different textures, colors, and heights in your backyard design is the best way to up the aesthetic. Experiment with different varieties of plants, trees and shrubs as opposed to grass. For all-season appeal, incorporate combinations of flowering plants that bloom at different times.

Sectioning off your yard space with natural materials is a great way to create an intentional look. Edge around your garden beds with stones, bricks, concrete or wood. Add wood chips and mulch as a space filler between different sections of your backyard.

For walking areas, lay bricks in an interesting pattern, or cover the ground with pea gravel that is soft on the feet!

9. Add a Fire Pit

Extend your backyard season by installing a fire pit to keep your friends and family warm on early spring and late fall nights! With shapes and sizes for any space, a fire pit works as a functional focal point in any backyard space. Simple, or intricately designed, fire pits really up the aesthetic appeal of a no-grass backyard. Check out these amazing fire pit ideas!

10. Create Pathways

Pull your entire space together by adding pathways between the elements of your no-grass backyard! Create simple, thrifty garden paths with natural or recycled materials found around your home. The options are endless from stones and bricks to tires and bottles!

Garden paths add a fairytale feel to your backyard space while providing excellent no-grass ground cover. Create a uniform look by sectioning off your space with paths in straight lines. Or take your guests on a garden journey by adding twists and turns to your design!

No Mow, No Problem!

If the manicured lawn look just isn’t for you, there are many options to create a gorgeous, no-grass space. Include one or more focal points and fill the space with several natural materials. Utilize color and texture in your design to make your backyard space pop! Make the most of your yard’s imperfections by adding garden beds to slopes and container gardens in those hard-to-grow areas.

In the end, you may get more enjoyment creating a backyard paradise that does not require a lawn mower!