One of the biggest hassles of owning an inground pool is not necessarily the pool itself, but the maintenance of its surrounding landscape. Choose the wrong plants for your backyard and you’ll spend more time mowing, trimming, and cleaning debris than you will enjoying the water. Grass in particular can be a mess if not carefully considered. Thankfully, there are alternatives to high-maintenance turf to keep your inground pool clean and your weekend schedule wide open.
- Zoysia: These grasses are ideal because they can thrive in both sun and shade while growing slowly. They’ll be tolerant of heavy foot traffic from those inevitable pool parties while still producing a lush blanket of green. Try Empire or Palisades.
- Ornamental grasses: Versatile with plenty of dimension, ornamental grasses are incredibly low-maintenance, needing only one cut per year. If drab, overgrown bushes come to mind, choose Japanese Blood Grass or Pink Muhly Grass for a pop of color.
- Moss: Great for humid climates and backyards with plenty of shade, moss is a top choice for a low-maintenance lawn. Not only does it not require fertilizer, its tendency to grow low lets you ditch the lawnmower in favor of, say, a swim.
- Lilyturf: This grassy ground cover is best suited for households without kids or pets, since it cannot withstand much traffic. Lilyturf grows tall and adapts to several different soil types and degrees of sun exposure. Drought-tolerant and lively—you can’t go wrong.
- Buffalo Grass: This species is generally flexible in terms of its tolerance to traffic and low watering schedules. Choose Buffalo Grass if you live in a warm climate and your inground pool gets full sunshine. As with the others, it’s low-growing and a breeze to handle.
- Decomposed Granite: Create a natural-looking pathway to the pool with DG for an inexpensive grass-free backyard. Line the walkway with potted plants to add color and life while avoiding the hassle of a fully landscaped yard. Choose from gray, tan, or brown hues to complete your rustic pool theme.
- Xeriscape: Loved for its water-conservation focus, xeriscaping entails the careful consideration of climate-specific plants. Advantages include minimal care (other than weeding and mulching), reduced landscaping costs, and the consumption of up to two-thirds less water than traditional grass.
- Meadow Plants: Create a grid of poured concrete pavers and plant a meadow garden with seed-producing grasses for the birds, such as Little Bluestem or Broom Sedge. Both provide color and texture to the garden while eliminating the need for mowing.
- Artificial Turf: While most popular in the desert, artificial turf can be used virtually anywhere as the no-frills answer to regular grass. If horrifying visions of a golf course come to mind, fear not. Synthetic grass has come a long way in terms of looking and feeling like the real deal.
- Succulent Garden: Create a grass-less yard rich with a mix of interesting succulents and cacti. Ice plants can give you the ground cover you need in lieu of grass, while potted succulents decorate the yard with breathtaking colors and designs that mimic actual flowers.
You’ve spent the time and money building an inground pool—enjoy it! Planting low-maintenance grasses over water-hungry, mow-heavy turf will ensure you get the most from your yard. Doesn’t that sound better than your yard getting the best of you?