What Can I Replace My Backyard Grass With?

If you’ve got a backyard that’s looking a little tired, it might be time to consider some different ground cover. 

Sure, grass is easy and cheap, but there are lots of other options that are just as easy and don’t require much maintenance. Here’s an overview of the common choices:

LAWN SUBSTITUTES | Hard at First, Later Much Easier
Artificial turfLow maintenance and long-lasting
Permeable pavingReduces water runoff and erosion
GravelDurable and cost-effective
CloverRequires less maintenance than grass
MossRetains moisture and adds natural beauty
XeriscapingLowers water usage and maintenance
Vegetable gardenProvides food and adds visual interest
Wildflowers and native plantsSupports local ecosystems

Ground Cover

Ground cover is a low-growing plant that can be used to cover the ground in your yard. Ground covers will help eliminate weeds and keep the soil from drying out too quickly. They also provide a soft, pleasant feel underfoot. 

Ground covers can be used to replace grass in a lawn or they can be used to grow alongside existing grassy areas of your yard.

Looking for alternative options to grass for your backyard? Our article on 14 Alternatives to Grass Backyard explores a variety of options to help you choose the best fit for your needs.

Astro turf

If you want a low-maintenance, durable lawn that looks just like the real thing, but is easy to install and maintain, Astro turf might be right for you.

This synthetic grass is made from recycled materials and it’s used for playgrounds, pet areas, and even lawns. 

It’s not as expensive as natural grass and it’s not prone to weeds or pests. Plus installation can be done by yourself in one day with minimal tools!

Astro turf is also great because it doesn’t need watering or mowing—you can even let your dog run around on it without having to worry about him digging up the plants!


Sod is a good option for large areas. If you have a large yard, sod may be the best choice for you. 

It grows quickly and requires little maintenance once established. Sod also works well in shady areas, making it a great choice if you want to plant grass where other plants might struggle to grow.

Sod is also an excellent option if your lawn has become overgrown or unkempt due to lack of time, space or any other reason that makes mowing difficult. Because sod is pre-established and grown in trays specifically designed for this purpose, it’s easy to install yourself without professional help and can fill any holes left by previous plantings with ease.

If you’re looking for an alternative to grass that needs less water than traditional varieties but still has some shade tolerance like cool-season turfgrasses (like fescue), 

Consider using perennial rye instead it’s similar in appearance but won’t require as much watering as some other types of ground cover since its roots run deep underground into dirt rather than just spreading outwardly from somewhere else nearby; these roots will draw moisture from far away rather than having only shallow access like annuals do–this means less frequent watering requirements overall!

Planning a backyard wedding? Our guide on How Much to Throw a Backyard Wedding offers tips and insights to help you budget and plan for the perfect celebration.


Pavers are a great option for anyone who wants to replace their grass but is stymied by the fact that there’s not enough room for a patio or walkway. 

Pavers can be installed on top of existing grass and make a great alternative to concrete or asphalt, especially if you want something more natural looking and visually appealing than plain concrete. 

The best part about pavers is that they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, so if you want something unique for your yard—like say an all-pink pathway—it’s entirely possible!


While concrete can be a nice option for homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s not the most practical choice. 

Concrete is best used in areas that won’t get a lot of foot traffic and are large enough to accommodate its size. The durability of concrete makes it an excellent choice for patios or walkways, but its hard surface might not be ideal for children’s play areas or yards with dogs that run around.

Pebbles Or Stones

Pebbles and stones are an easy choice for your backyard, as they’re relatively low maintenance and can be used in a variety of ways. 

You can use them to make a path through your yard, or create a fire pit (if you have the required permits). If you have a pool or pond in your backyard, consider using pebbles for a water feature (or even just a fountain). Another option is to create an outdoor patio with stone pavers.

Artificial Grass

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of your grass, artificial turf might be the perfect solution for you. 

Artificial grass is an excellent choice for people who want to avoid yard maintenance, are hosting events and don’t want their lawn tramped down by heavy foot traffic or pets, have allergies or asthma triggered by pollen from real plants and would like an option other than hacking away at weeds with a garden hoe every summer.

It’s also great if you’re hoping to keep your yard green all year round when there’s no natural sunlight available in winter months.

If you’d like more information about how artificial turf can enhance your property coverage area today!

Mulch Or Bark Chips

The first thing to consider is whether you want to replace the grass with something other than mulch or bark chips. 

Mulch and bark chips are made from ground-up trees and plants, which means that they’re naturally good at controlling weeds. They also help the soil retain moisture and nutrients, which is great for your lawn!

Transforming a small backyard into a beautiful outdoor space is easier than you might think. Check out our article on How Do I Make My Backyard More Small for easy tips and tricks to maximize your space and create a stunning outdoor oasis

Gravel Or Pebbles Or Stones

If you have children or pets, gravel is an excellent choice for your backyard. Gravel is easier on their feet than grass and will help keep them from getting cut. 

It’s also a good choice if you want to create a path through your yard but don’t want to disturb the grassy areas with weed killer or edging material.

If you want to use gravel as part of a garden bed, consider using different types of stones in different parts of your garden—this could be anything from large rocks at the bottom of the garden bed to smaller stones around the sides and top of it. 

With this method, you’ll be able to build up different levels within each bed as well as add interest by mixing colors together throughout all aspects of your landscape design!

Paving Stones

Paving stones are small and irregularly shaped, so they can be used on driveways and patios, but they can also be used on a lawn as well. 

Paving stones are not expensive, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank when replacing your grass with paving stones. They’re durable, too!

Interested in adding turf to your backyard? Our guide on How Do You Put Turf Down in Your Backyard provides step-by-step instructions and helpful insights to ensure a successful installation

Permeable Concrete

Another option is permeable concrete. Permeable concrete is a concrete surface that allows water to pass through it, similar to how soil does. It’s also called porous pavement or “living” pavement. 

Permeable pavers are an alternative to traditional asphalt or brick driveways and sidewalks, which can get extremely hot in the summer and retain heat in general (leading to water evaporation).

Permeable pavement has many benefits:

It reduces erosion and flooding by allowing rainwater to soak into the ground, instead of running off as runoff into storm sewers and eventually into waterways like rivers and streams. 

This helps protect our natural ecosystem by reducing sedimentation downstream from where you live. If enough sediment accumulates in a river’s bed over time, that river may lose its ability to flow freely—which could cause flooding when heavy rains hit!

Fresh herbs can add a delicious burst of flavor to any meal. Learn how to create your own herb garden with our article on How Do I Make an Herb Garden in My Backyard, complete with tips on selecting the right herbs and creating the perfect growing conditions.


Now that you’ve seen a few options for replacing your backyard grass, it’s time to make a decision about which one is right for you. 

To do this, consider what kind of maintenance the material will need over time and how much space you have for each material. 

If your yard has limited space or needs frequent upkeep, consider using permeable concrete so that rainwater can seep into the soil beneath instead of flowing down into storm drains or sewers where it will cause flooding!

Creating a Stunning Outdoor Space

LandscapingIncorporate plants, trees, and shrubs
HardscapingInstall paths, patios, and retaining walls
Outdoor lightingUse string lights, lanterns, or spotlights
Water featureAdd a fountain, pond, or waterfall
Outdoor furnitureChoose comfortable and durable seating
Outdoor cooking areaInstall a grill, smoker, or outdoor kitchen
Garden accessoriesIncorporate decorative items like wind chimes, birdhouses, or statues

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

14 Alternatives to Grass Backyard and Why You Should Care: This article provides further information on alternatives to grass and why they are beneficial for your yard.

How Much Does It Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This article provides information on the cost of landscaping a backyard, which can be helpful for readers who are considering replacing their grass and want to know the financial implications.

How to Make Your Backyard More Small: Easy Way: This article provides tips on making a small backyard more appealing, which can be helpful for readers who are looking for landscaping ideas that take into account a limited amount of space.

How to Put Turf Down in Your Backyard: This article provides information on how to install turf, which can be helpful for readers who are considering artificial turf as an alternative to grass.

How to Create a Modern Backyard: Pro Tips: This article provides tips on creating a modern backyard, which can be helpful for readers who are interested in designing a contemporary outdoor space that doesn’t rely on traditional grass landscaping.

10 Great Alternatives to Lawn: This article provides ten alternatives to lawn and the pros and cons of each option, which can be helpful for readers who are considering replacing their grass and want to know their options.

Grass Alternatives for Your Backyard Lawn: This article provides several grass alternatives and the benefits and drawbacks of each, which can be helpful for readers who are looking for a more natural-looking alternative to traditional grass.


What are some low-maintenance alternatives to grass?

Some low-maintenance alternatives to grass include mulch, gravel, ground covers, and artificial turf. These options require less water and maintenance than traditional grass and can provide a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative for backyard landscaping.

How do I prepare my yard for a grass alternative?

Preparing your yard for a grass alternative involves removing the existing grass and weeds, leveling the area, and preparing the soil as needed for the specific alternative you have chosen. It’s best to consult with a landscaping professional for guidance on the best practices for preparing your yard.

What are some drought-tolerant alternatives to grass?

Some drought-tolerant alternatives to grass include succulents, cacti, and other desert plants. These options can provide a low-maintenance and water-efficient alternative for landscaping in areas prone to drought or water restrictions.

How do I maintain an alternative to grass in my yard?

The maintenance requirements for an alternative to grass will vary depending on the type of alternative you have chosen. It’s best to consult with a landscaping professional or do research on the specific requirements for the alternative you have selected to ensure proper maintenance and longevity.

How do I choose the best alternative for my climate?

When choosing an alternative to grass, consider factors such as the amount of sunlight and water the area receives, the climate of the region, and the desired aesthetic. It’s also important to

research the maintenance requirements and potential drawbacks of each option to ensure that you choose the best alternative for your specific climate and needs. Consulting with a landscaping professional can also be helpful in making an informed decision.

Are there any eco-friendly alternatives to grass?

Yes, there are several eco-friendly alternatives to grass that can be used for backyard landscaping. Some options include using native plants, installing a rain garden, and planting a vegetable garden or fruit trees. These options can not only provide a more environmentally friendly landscaping option but can also offer additional benefits such as promoting local biodiversity and providing fresh produce.

What are some budget-friendly alternatives to grass?

Some budget-friendly alternatives to grass include using mulch or gravel, installing artificial turf, or planting ground covers.

These options can be cost-effective alternatives to traditional grass and can also provide additional benefits such as reduced maintenance and water usage. It’s best to research the specific cost and maintenance requirements of each option before making a decision.

Can I install a grass alternative myself, or should I hire a professional?

The decision to install a grass alternative yourself or hire a professional will depend on several factors, including the complexity of the project, your level of experience, and the tools and equipment required.

Simple options such as mulch or ground covers can often be installed by homeowners, while more complex options such as installing artificial turf or a rain garden may require the expertise of a professional landscaper. It’s important to consider your skill level and the scope of the project before making a decision.