There are so many more options to a lawn than grass. Today’s homeowners can use landscaping products and methods to get a low-maintenance lawn that saves them money and looks great. Those looking to renovate their landscaping would do well to research their lawn options.

There are seven ways you can change up your lawn:

  • Natural grass
  • Native plants
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Artificial grass
  • Mulch
  • Gravel or pebbles
  • Hardscaping

Natural Grass

This has some benefits. It is real, soft, and relatively low cost when installed. Installing sod is easier and gives an immediate finished look over seed, which takes months to grow if it does grow. However, turf must be watered and weeds do eventually pop through so it will also need weed prevention chemicals, along with fertilizer, to keep looking great. You will need to mow regularly, edge and do other routine work to keep it up.

Native Plants

This is a great option for those who live in hot, desert areas where grass doesn’t grow well or where drought prevents you from watering. Plants native to where you live will grow without a lot of special care and add character to your yard. Most grown in the southwest or along the west coast do not require much water and can withstand extreme heat.

Drought Tolerant Plants

This takes the native plant idea up a notch because these plants come from places like Africa where drought is common place. They are unusual in their beauty and require almost no water. These type of plants come in all forms from ground cover, to shrubs, flowers and trees.

Artificial Grass

This is one of the hottest trends among homeowners now, especially for those living in drought-prone, dessert areas. Artificial grass looks like the real thing, is soft on bare feet and offers cushion to falls during rough play. It also helps reduce pollen, bugs and results in a reduction of lawn chemicals. Pets love it too. It is easy to maintain and you save on water.


Mulch is a great ground cover, especially for flower beds, playgrounds and outdoor grilling and seating areas. It helps control weeds and is pretty low maintenance. It will need to be replenished yearly as it deteriorates, but doesn’t require ongoing care. It is an inexpensive option.

Gravel or Pebbles

This is one option to grass that is affordable and low maintenance. Whether you use actual gravel, pebbles or a decomposed granite product, going with this option offers style and function. It can be used around flower beds, outdoor entertainment areas or in between plant borders. Gravel and pebbles offer good drainage. The downside is they will need to be replenished every couple of years because they become compact and, eventually, get covered by dirt.


Hardscaping includes concrete, tile, flagstone, brick and other types of hard surface products. These products work well for any type of use from patios to outdoor seating areas, pathways, and sports areas. They come in a variety of colors and some can be design stamped for a unique look. They are durable and will not need replacing often. However, they are a more expensive option.

There is no wrong option. The option you choose depends on how you will use your lawn space, the style you long for, how much time you are willing to spend maintaining it, and your budget. Whatever you choose, you will be using your beautiful outdoor space for years to come.

If you’d like to know more about Lawn Services in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas, please call K&D Landscaping at (831) 728-4018