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Unread 04-07-2008, 09:00 PM
 
25,171 posts, read 31,085,895 times
Reputation: 6643
Default Anything besides grass for lawn?

First of all are their houses without grass because I hate grass or if there is grass can I have it removed legally? First of all you have to mow it, do upkeep, grow flowers in it, edge it, weed eat it, do fire ant prevention, use a lot of physical exercsion which includes raking leaves etc. I do not want to do that.

Is there any way to avoid having grass or are their other things you can put on your lawn besides grass - that do not require near or any upkeep?

Thanks
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Unread 04-07-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Garland Texas
1,538 posts, read 4,338,601 times
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Yes you can have it removed legally unless you live in a neighborhood with a HOA. I've seen a few yards that were creatively grassy free. You could do xerescaping, which is simply planting drought tolerant plants, some which are already native to the area. There is a house in Garland, where there yard is mostly gravel, with some yucca and cacti mixed in. It actually looks nicer then it sounds.

My only concern with something like xerescaping is that many of the plants are shrubby, and their height would violate code in most cities. It's fairly popular in Arizona, New Mexico, and SoCal.
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Unread 04-07-2008, 09:26 PM
 
2,032 posts, read 3,658,409 times
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You might consider Buffalo grass. It's drought tolerant, only requires mowing a few times a year and has a natural growth max of about 5".

As far as fire ant prevention, we use beneficial nematodes. Little microscopic buggers who kill grub works, fleas, ticks, fire ants. We get ours from Roach's Feed and Seed in Garland and I think it's $25 for two applications.
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Unread 04-07-2008, 10:48 PM
 
35 posts, read 97,327 times
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Unfortunately you may **** off your neighbors if you rip out the grass. If you find an eclectic area of older homes, maybe...but I personally don't know those areas. You may bring the value of your home down as well. And if you live in an HOA- no way.

I would love a SW type home with cacti (sp?) and gravel, but that doesn't swing here.

The weeds take over starting in late March, early April. It is good to hire a service that maintains the lawn...preventative weed control combined with fertilization. It is also great to hire someone to mow it...

You could buy a patio home/zero lot line home. Or even do a condo? There are some brand new townhomes going up all over the metroplex from major builders. If you must go with a home, look at the ones with a swing garage, so most of the front yard is taken up by the drive way.
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Unread 04-08-2008, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 5,196,037 times
Reputation: 978
I saw something on the news a few months ago about the "new" astroturf. That stuff looks quite real. I think they said it was expensive, but if it takes no water and no maint - it may be worth it in the long run if you hate grass.
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Unread 04-08-2008, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
3,890 posts, read 8,333,593 times
Reputation: 2108
Here is the link about it... I think it's cool for the backyard around a pool area to eliminate the maintenance... but I would miss the smell of fresh cut grass in the spring!!! am I the only one?

NewGrass is a synthetic grass and lawn product, a best-quality artificial grass and lawn that is generations ahead of the old plastic turf and can be used anywhere natural turf grass or field turf would apply.

ok, here's a stupid question: Can dogs use this??? or are they too smart?
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Unread 04-08-2008, 06:44 AM
 
362 posts, read 1,063,838 times
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I hear ya artsyguy! I love having a house but hate maintaining a lawn and wish I could rip it out. Unfortunately but I am one of those with an HOA that mandates how much of the yard must be turfgrass...and its a lot. Sucks!
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Unread 04-08-2008, 09:15 AM
 
563 posts, read 2,359,456 times
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Join the HOA and talk some sense into the idiots among us! Lawn is an absolute waste in my opinion, especially when its a front yard that gets no use. In our last house (we've only been in this one a few weeks) I put in huge 'flower' beds and planted as many xeriscape plants I could think of. I had a bed of sedum (which does great but does attract a boatload of bees once it blooms) lavender and thyme. I used the plastic weed stopper stuff under the mulch and was on the verge of replacing our mulch with gravel when we moved. Really, it is very possible to aesthetically replace huge chunks of your lawn.
A lot of older homes up north have huge beds filled with vinca, pachysandra and other low growing ground covers that need no care. They look like crap once winter hits but that's worth not having to mow all that extra lawn!
As to the astroturf I think either costco.com or sams club was carrying it online only. It is expensive if you've got a big yard though. Dogs, when they need to , will go on anything but it might be super gross unless you scoop it quickly and then hose it down. Too much work probably. Of course there's always the nice grassy neighbor's lawn for fido . .
One of the things I've seen a lot in Xeriscaped yards is hardscaping - wide concrete or stone pathways around the house with narrow beds alongside. Piles of rocks under trees. Rocks can make a really cool garden material. In my ideal world I'd have a cirlce of lawn in the backyard for the kids to roll on and have everything else low maintainence xeriscaped or hardscaped.
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Unread 04-08-2008, 09:23 AM
 
2,032 posts, read 3,658,409 times
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I don't get why someone would move into an HOA and then expect major changes to things like having lawns. You knew what you were buying into, did you really think that it would magically change?

We have wrought iron fences on the outer perimeter of our neighborhood, covered at the moment with gorgeous yellow climber roses - almost like big yellow fountains. And yet there are people who live in those houses who want to change it to a brick wall. Are you kidding me? It was like that when you moved in, it's in the CCRs and no one made you buy that house.

I don't think people who expect the HOAs to enforce the CCRs are idiots. I think the people who don't pay attention when they buy the house and get stuck living where they aren't happy, might fall closer to that description.
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Unread 04-08-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Mid-Cities
33 posts, read 99,890 times
Reputation: 15
I have read a little bit about using clover as a grass alternative
Lawn Alternatives
Alternatives to a grass lawn: ground cover (groundcover) options for your yard (http://www.organiclawncaretips.com/groundcover_alternatives_to_grass.html - broken link)

I like the idea of using a low growing herb.. thyme or yarrow is supposed to work well- and smell good.
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