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5 Low-Maintenance Ideas for Yards in Drier Climates

You’ll never have to mow the lawn again with these eco-friendly alternatives to grass.

There’s a harsh reality to how much water is required to maintain a luscious lawn. And in many dry and arid climates, supporting a grassy front and back yard is unsustainable.

If you live in a desert-like climate or are looking for an eco-friendly, low maintenance swap, check out these ideas for a drought-tolerant, grass-free yard.

1. Xeriscape with succulents

While creating an eye-catching visual, succulents – leafy or prickly, like cacti – require little water or care. They can create the illusion of a green yard without grass and can go long periods of time without water in the instance of a drought or water-ban.

Century plant, desert spoon and sempervivum are just a few popular types of succulents that thrive in dry outdoor conditions. And while they’re not members of the succulent family, lavender and germander sage are also low-water plants that add a pop of color to landscaping.

2. Cover the ground with an alternative material

Keep it simple by covering the ground with a natural material like gravel, small rocks or mulch. Place planters throughout, plant a few of your favorite flowers or create a stepping-stone pathway. No matter how you decide to get creative, these alternative materials create a functional canvas for your yard.

3. Use rocks for dimension

Medium- and large-sized rocks can add dimension to your outdoor space. Use them to cover the ground, outline plants, build a rock wall or surround a sitting area.

4. Design a patio

If you’re looking to eliminate grass but increase time spent outdoors, consider installing a patio, whether it’s atop pavers, concrete or an alternative material like gravel. With the addition of comfortable seating, a few dotted plants and an umbrella for shade in the scorching sun, you will have a newfound oasis carved out of underutilized space.

For an added bonus, hang Edison bulb string lights around the sides or weave them through an overhead pergola to make the patio a go-to spot at nighttime, too.

5. Install flower beds

Looking to bring more color to your yard than ever before? Install raised flower beds to plant flowers, herbs or plants you love. While they still require regular watering, a few plant boxes will need significantly less hydration and care than grass.

Article originally appeared on RE/MAX.com.

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