14 Alternatives To Grass Backyard? (And Why You Should Care)

Are you tired of maintaining a traditional lawn and searching for creative alternatives to grass in your backyard? In this post, we explore 14 stunning alternatives to grass that can transform your outdoor space into a low-maintenance, eco-friendly oasis.

From creating a lush aquaponic garden to establishing a private retreat with a small backyard landscape, we’ll guide you through the options that cater to various aesthetics and functionality needs. So, why wait? Dive in and reimagine your backyard with these sustainable, cost-effective solutions.

Why Lawns Suck (And A Few Alternatives That Don’t)
Grass lawns are high-maintenance and resource-intensive
There are many alternative options to grass for a backyard
Choosing an alternative to grass should be based on climate, soil, and intended use
Alternatives to grass can be attractive and cost-effective
Research and planning are key to successfully replacing a grass lawn

1. Wood Deck

Wood decking is a great choice for areas that get a lot of suns and/or foot traffic. It can be made from redwood, cedar, or pine and should be treated with a wood preservative to prevent the wood from rotting.

Tired of maintaining a grass lawn? There are plenty of alternatives to consider! Our guide on what can I replace my backyard grass with explores a variety of low-maintenance options that can help you save time and resources.

2. Gravel Patio

The gravel patio is easy to install and maintain. You can buy a kit from your local hardware store, or hire a company that specializes in patios to do the job for you. 

The cost of building a gravel patio will depend on the size of your yard and whether or not you’re planning on adding plants and flowers.

If you decide to go with a gravel patio, keep in mind that it won’t have any drainage holes like grass does so make sure your soil isn’t too wet before laying down the pebbles. 

Gravel also doesn’t grow weeds as easily as grass because they don’t hold water like soil does so this option may be better suited for people who don’t want much maintenance or upkeep on their property (and don’t mind looking at rocks all day).

3. Stone Patio

A stone patio is a great alternative to grass. A stone patio is durable and long-lasting, and it will give your backyard a natural look. Stone patios are easy to clean, maintain, install and repair.

If you have any questions about our services or would like us to build your next project please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Looking to add some green to your backyard without the hassle of grass? Consider installing turf! Our guide on how do you put turf down in your backyard offers step-by-step instructions and tips for creating a lush, artificial lawn that’s perfect for outdoor activities.

4. Synthetic Grass Lawn

Synthetic grass lawns have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional grass lawns. 

They are a great choice for people who want to install a new lawn but don’t have the time or inclination to deal with the maintenance associated with real grass, or for those who don’t want to deal with weeds, bugs, and other issues that come along with having a natural lawn.

Synthetic turf is made from polyethylene fibers that are bound together in strands called “cut blades.” It can be laid down in any shape and size you want on your property you could even create your putting green! 

And unlike natural turf, it won’t need watering regularly because it’s made from polyethylene yarns rather than real plants (which need water).

With synthetic turf you’ll also never need to worry about mowing again: The blades stay low so they’re easy on pets’ paws too!

5. Paver Patio

A patio is a great alternative to grass because it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. 

Patios are easy to maintain, and they’re much more durable than grass. If you’d like a simple paver patio with pavers that are a color similar to your house’s exterior, this is an easy way to go!

If you want some variety in your paver patio design, consider using different colored pavers for each row or section of the patio. 

This will create some visual interest without being too busy or distracting from the rest of your yard’s landscaping features. You could also add other elements like benches or planters made from reclaimed wood if you like!

Patio materials can also vary according to personal preference: brick pavers are sturdy but heavy; cement slabs are relatively lightweight; 

Decomposed granite tiles are textured for grip but do not require any maintenance beyond regular sweeping (this makes them perfect for outdoor eating areas).

Fencing can add privacy, security, and style to your backyard, but it can also be expensive. Luckily, there are affordable options available! Our guide on how do I build a cheap backyard fence provides budget-friendly tips and tricks for constructing a fence that fits your needs and budget.

6. Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are a durable and low-maintenance option for your backyard. They can be used to create a path, patio, or walkway and will last for many years.

Another benefit of concrete pavers is that they can be used to create a fire pit or raised garden bed. Concrete patio options allow you to add personal touches like tiles or mosaics that reflect your personality.

Using concrete pavers as an alternative for grass allows you to personalize the space in any way that you choose by creating paths, patios, and walkways in any design pattern that works well with your home’s aesthetics.

7. Pea Gravel Patio

Pea gravel is a great alternative to grass in your backyard. It’s cheaper than other types of gravel, but it can be more difficult to install and requires less maintenance than regular gravel.

A Pea gravel patio is a good choice for anyone who wants an easy-to-maintain surface without the high cost of installing pea gravel driveways or walkways around their home.

Enjoying your backyard in peace can be difficult if you live in a busy or noisy area. Fortunately, there are simple solutions for creating a private oasis. Our guide on how do you make a small backyard private offers creative and effective ways to block out unwanted sights and sounds.

8. Brick Patio

When you’re ready to take your brick patio from an idea to reality, there are a few things you need to consider. 

Below, we’ve listed the materials and tools you’ll need for your project (as well as a few tips on how best to use them), along with step-by-step instructions for laying brick pavers yourself.

  • Materials:
  • Brick pavers
  • Tools:
  • Spade or shovel (for digging out the ground)
  • Tape measurer or ruler (to measure the distance between each paver)
  • Techniques:
  • Mark where each paver will go before laying them down; if they aren’t spaced evenly apart, it will look sloppy when finished!

Pros and Cons Table of Top 5 Alternatives to Grass

CloverNitrogen-fixing, attracts pollinatorsCan be invasive, attracts bees
ThymeLow maintenance, aromaticSlow to establish, not suitable for heavy traffic
Artificial turfLow maintenance, always greenExpensive, non-biodegradable
GravelLow maintenance, good for drainageCan be hot and uncomfortable to walk on
PaversDurable, versatileCan be expensive to install

9. Artificial Turf Lawn

Synthetic turf looks like the real thing, and it can be an ideal alternative to a natural lawn. While synthetic turf is often more expensive than its organic counterpart, it’s still a good choice for people who want their lawn with minimal maintenance. 

And unlike most grass alternatives, you don’t need to worry about any allergies or health issues that come with real grass (though some people still have them).

Synthetic turf comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes you can get it in rolls or squares with pebbles on top of them but they’re all the same thing: lots of fake green blades in a field. 

The biggest difference between brands is what kind of backing material they use under these blades; some are made from rubber while others have plastic backing materials inside them (this makes for better drainage). 

There are even versions that simulate natural dirt underneath the grass so that there’s no longer any worry about how your dog might break through his usual boundaries! 

These versions tend to cost more than traditional ones though so make sure you do your research before buying anything!

10. Flagstone Patio

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance material that’s easy to clean, flagstone is the way to go. It’s one of the most popular patio surfaces on the market today. 

Flagstone is a very hard material that requires minimal maintenance and upkeep; all you have to do is sweep or wash it occasionally. 

Plus, since flagstone comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors (and can even be stained or painted), there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating your very own custom-built patio with this versatile material.

Flagstone patios are also great if you live in an area with lots of foot traffic because they’re naturally resistant to cracking and chipping over time.

Unlike other materials like concrete which may crack over time depending on how often they’re used by people walking across them every day!

If your backyard is feeling cramped or cluttered, it’s time to get creative with your space. Our guide on how do I make my backyard more small provides simple yet effective tips for maximizing your outdoor area, from vertical gardening to multifunctional furniture.

11. Colored Mulch Landscape

Colored mulch can be used to create a border around your patio and garden, or it can be used for a path. It also makes an excellent firepit, retaining wall, and seating area. This type of landscaping is very versatile, so you can use it in many different areas of your yard.

12. Composite Decking Material

The composite decking material is another alternative to grass. It is made from recycled plastic and wood fibers. 

This means it is more durable than wood, does not require painting or staining, and is more expensive than wood. However, if you are going to get a composite decking material for your backyard, then you should check out the following features:

  • How much weight can it hold?
  • Is it waterproof?
  • Does it fade over time when exposed to sunlight?

13. Rubber Paving

Rubber Paving is a great alternative to grass.

It’s durable, low maintenance, and easy to install. It is more affordable than grass. It is more environmentally friendly than grass. It is more sustainable than grass. It is more versatile than grass.

Comparison Table of Grass and its Alternatives

High maintenanceLow maintenance
Requires regular wateringMay not require watering
Limited biodiversityCan support diverse plant and animal life
Requires chemical fertilizers and pesticidesCan be grown organically

It Is Possible To Have A Healthy, Beautiful Outdoor Space Without Grass

You don’t have to sacrifice your green thumb for a beautiful backyard, though. Here are some ideas for how you can have an outdoor space without grass:

Plant non-grassy plants. If you want to accentuate the green in your yard and add some color, there are plenty of options that won’t require much maintenance. 

Consider planting succulents or flowering plants, such as impatiens (which are low maintenance) or petunias (which bloom during spring). If you’re looking for something more exotic, try adding palm trees or other tropical plants!

Don’t mow the lawn! As mentioned earlier, mowing is a big part of maintaining a grassy backyard and if it’s not something that interests you enough to keep up with regularly, why bother? 

Instead of going through the trouble of keeping up with this chore every few days (or weeks), consider leaving your lawn wilder than usual so nature takes over and does all the work for you. You might even be able to plant wildflowers here instead!

Create paths using stones or gravel instead; these won’t compete with any existing turf so they’ll blend right in while still providing traction when wet weather hits outside.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources related to the topic of backyard alternatives:

Real Simple: 8 Great Ideas for a Lawn-Free Yard: This article offers creative and beautiful alternatives to grass lawns, including ground covers, gravel, and more.

Planet Natural: Alternatives to Lawns: This resource provides a comprehensive overview of lawn alternatives, including plant-based options and eco-friendly landscaping ideas.

Install It Direct: 11 Alternatives to Grass in Your Backyard: From artificial turf to hardscaping, this guide explores a variety of options for replacing grass in your backyard.

How to Make Your Backyard More Appealing: This article provides useful tips on how to make a small backyard more appealing and interesting.

How Much Does it Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This article talks about the cost of fully landscaping a backyard, which can be helpful for those considering different backyard alternatives.

How Much is a Backyard Greenhouse?: This article provides information on the cost of a backyard greenhouse, which is another alternative to grass that can be explored.

How to Hang Lights in a Backyard Globe: This article provides useful tips on how to hang lights in a backyard, which can help create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

How to Install a Sink in Your Backyard: This article talks about how to install a sink in the backyard, which is useful for those who want to set up an outdoor kitchen or wash area in their backyard.

These articles provide additional information on various aspects related to backyard alternatives that can be helpful for those looking to make changes to their outdoor space.


If you’re looking for a new way to make your backyard more pleasant and inviting, consider checking out one of these options. They offer all the benefits of traditional grass lawns without the downsides and they look great too!


What are some low-maintenance alternatives to grass?

Some low-maintenance alternatives to grass include groundcovers, clover, and ornamental grasses. These options require less watering and mowing than traditional grass, and can also provide other benefits such as increased biodiversity in your yard.

How do I choose the right alternative to grass for my yard?

When choosing an alternative to grass, consider factors such as the amount of sunlight your yard receives, the type of soil you have, and your climate zone. Some alternatives may be more suitable for certain conditions than others.

How much does it cost to install an alternative to grass?

The cost of installing an alternative to grass will depend on the type of alternative you choose and the size of your yard. Groundcovers and clover are generally less expensive than ornamental grasses or other landscaping options, but it’s best to get a quote from a professional landscaper for an accurate estimate.

What factors should be considered when choosing an alternative to grass for a backyard?

When choosing an alternative to grass for a backyard, it’s important to consider factors like climate, soil type, drainage, and intended use of the space.

Can an alternative to grass be as attractive as a traditional lawn?

Yes, many alternatives to grass can be just as attractive as a traditional lawn, and can even add more interest and texture to your outdoor space.

Is it more expensive to install an alternative to grass than a traditional lawn?

The cost of installing an alternative to grass in a backyard can vary widely depending on the type of material and installation method used. In some cases, it may be more expensive than installing a traditional lawn, while in others it may be more cost-effective in the long run due to reduced maintenance needs.