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No Mow Grass: Top Alternatives for Low Maintenance Lawns (2023)

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no mow grass typesReady to break free from the chains of lawn care drudgery? If you’re looking for a low-maintenance alternative to mowing, there are plenty of no mow grass types available. From hardy fescues and buffalograss to wildflower meadows and native plants, you have options that will reduce time spent on yardwork while keeping an attractive outdoor space.

Key Takeaways

  • No-mow grass types offer a low-maintenance alternative to traditional grass lawns.
  • There are various options available, including hardy fescues, buffalograss, zoysia tenuifolia, and ground cover options for shade environments.
  • Artificial turf can also serve as a durable choice for high-traffic yards that require little upkeep.
  • Selecting the appropriate no-mow grass option depends on regional growing conditions, water needs, and climate suitability.

Hard Fescue and Fescue Mixes

Hard Fescue and Fescue Mixes
Hardy fescues like tall and hard fescue blends make great northern lawns. These cool-season grasses stay green even when it’s cold. Their deep roots and dense growth let them naturally resist diseases, weeds, and pests.

Once established, a fescue lawn thrives with little water, fertilizer, or mowing. Blends of fine fescues, like ‘Chantilly’, ‘Banner’, and ‘Warwick’, crowd out weeds well. For durable, shady lawns, try a ‘Reliant IV’ and ‘Rescue 911’ mix. On hot, sunny sites, heat-tolerant ‘Inferno’ and drought-resistant ‘Forte’ are good picks.

Proper site prep, seeding, and watering when you establish fescue ensures a thick, resilient lawn for years.


Buffalograss thrives in your full sun zones as an easy care, drought tolerant no-mow lawn. As a warm-season native prairie grass, this sod forming perennial stays under 6 inches tall, saving you from mowing.

The fine-bladed, light gray-green turf thrives with minimal watering, fertilizing, pesticides or herbicides. Buffalograss outcompetes weeds while providing a soft, dense mat for play. It naturally goes dormant after frost, greening up again in spring with proper drainage.

Compared to thirsty bluegrass lawns, the drought and heat tolerance of buffalograss reduces your lawn work and maintenance. Outside the buffalograss’s hardy range, overseeding may be required for green color in cooler months.

But within its ideal climate, buffalograss offers a low maintenance, eco-friendly alternative to traditional turf grasses.

Zoysia Tenuifolia

Zoysia Tenuifolia
With zoysiagrass, you’ve got a hardy, eco-friendly alternative that thrives in hot, sunny spots where you want a lush, easy-care lawn. This warm-season grass needs full sun and does best in zones 6-9. It tolerates heat, humidity, and drought once established.

For planting, till the soil, eradicate existing growth, and lay zoysia plugs or sod in early summer.

Maintenance is low-key – mow once a month and fertilize just 1-2 times per year. It crowds out weeds and resists pests.

While zoysia goes dormant and browns in winter, it greens up quickly in spring. If you desire a no-fuss lawn that stays green through scorching summers, zoysiagrass is a splendid option.

Ground Cover

Ground Cover
Some great shade-lovin’ ground cover options for ya are chewings fescue, hostas, carpet sedum, Dutch white clover, creepin’ thyme, and Corsican mint. Choosin’ the right ground cover for shade can transform your yard into a lush, livin’ landscape while savin’ you time and money on maintenance.

Consider these key factors when selectin’ ground cover:

  1. Soil moisture – Pick plants adapted to soil’s drainage. Hostas need consistently moist soil.
  2. Maintenance needs – Some spread rapidly and may require prunin’. Creepin’ thyme is slower growin’.
  3. Appearance – Do you want bold leaves like hosta or delicate blooms and foliage?
  4. Invadin’ roots – Beware of mint’s spreadin’ roots. Stay in bounds with clover.
  5. Foot traffic – Sturdy thymes hold up to activity. Fescue is easily trampled.

Plan ahead and choose wisely for optimal results. With proper shade plants in place, you’ll be on your way to a gorgeous no-mow sanctuary!

Artificial Turf

Artificial Turf
With your high-traffic yard, you’d better consider durable artificial turf to save yourself mowing time. Polyethylene turf withstands heavy use if professionally installed. Look for nylon and polyethylene blends that offer a natural appearance with minimized turf burn.

Though pricier initially, artificial grass pays for itself over time in maintenance savings.

Installation is key – prepare a compact gravel base topped with thin rubber padding before the turf. Expect costs of $8-12 per square foot installed. With proper drainage and infill, quality artificial turf holds up for 10+ years of play.

The resilient polyethylene fibers and texturized thatch ensure durability underfoot.

Savor your reclaimed weekends while the kids trample the grass with abandon. The right artificial turf liberates your time and yard space for living.

Wildflower Meadow

Wildflower Meadow
You simply must create a brilliant wildflower meadow bursting with vibrant native blooms to transform your yawn-worthy lawn into a pollinator’s paradise! Wildflower meadows offer numerous benefits, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies while adding beauty and biodiversity to your landscape.

To create a successful wildflower meadow, start by selecting native wildflowers that are well-suited for meadow planting. Consider species such as black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, and butterfly weed.

Maintenance tips for wildflower meadows include mowing once or twice per year in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Additionally, avoid using herbicides or fertilizers that could harm the delicate ecosystem of your wildflower meadow.

Clover (Trifolium)

Clover (Trifolium)
You’ll wanna consider clover as a no-mow alternative to traditional grass lawns. Clover provides a lush green carpet that rarely needs mowing or watering. It’s an eco-friendly option that supports pollinators and builds healthy soil. The benefits of clover versus grass are clear – clover fixes nitrogen, stays greener during droughts, and flowers to attract bees.

When sowing clover, choose a low-growing variety like microclover or Dutch white clover. These spread readily to form a dense mat. Alternate clover with other no-mow grasses like fine fescues for texture and diversity.

With patience and care, your clover lawn will thrive with minimal maintenance. Select clover that suits your climate and make the sustainable switch.

Microclover (Trifolium Repens)

Microclover (Trifolium Repens)
Miniature clover conquers commendably as a carefree eco-friendly covering. Embrace this tiny persistent trefoil to add ethical emerald elegance.

Packs punches of perks: fixes nitrogen, stays green with little water, blooms bees’ delight over.

Sow seeds into soil come spring, rake gently, water often as it sprouts. Mow low, mulch clippings, let it spread.

Mow once monthly to keep tidy. Spot spray weeds, aerate compacted patches, overseed worn areas.

Ditches thirsty, chem-filled turfgrass for responsible, lush living carpet. Far fewer inputs than conventional grass.

A brilliant botanic blanket…just let it grow! Forget fertilizer, herbicides and heavy maintenance.

Blue Lilyturf (Liriope Muscari)

Blue Lilyturf (Liriope Muscari)
Your drought-tolerant blue lilyturf carpet will soon be thriving, replacing that worn-out lawn harmoniously. This hardy perennial grass substitute requires little care once established. Blue lilyturf benefits from enriching the soil organically before planting, then enjoys a fertilizer-free, herbicide-free lifestyle.

Maintenance involves occasional trimming to control spread. Landscaping ideas include mass plantings, borders, and pathways. Blue lilyturf combines beautifully with ornamental grasses, sedums, and lavenders.

As a native plant, blue lilyturf attracts pollinators while needing no watering. Let your inner horticulturist bloom by welcoming this liberating, empowering groundcover into your landscape.

Creeping Thyme (Thymus)

Creeping Thyme (Thymus)
Tiptoe through thyme, this perennial evergreen ground cover, tickling toes between stone steps.

  1. Drought tolerance
  2. Pest resistance
  3. Lovely flowers
  4. Soft to walk on

Creeping thyme thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, it requires little maintenance beyond light pruning. Popular varieties like ‘Pink Chintz’ and ‘White Moss’ offer unique leaf colors or growth habits.

Use creeping thyme between pavers or stepping stones, on banks or slopes, as an aromatic lawn substitute, or within rock gardens.


As the old adage goes, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but for those who are looking to reduce their lawn maintenance, no mow grass types offer a great alternative. There is a no mow grass alternative to suit any landscape, from hard fescue and buffalograss to ground covers, artificial turf, and wildflower meadows.

These options are suitable for landscapes that need regular foot traffic or prefer shade.

With careful consideration for regional growing conditions, water requirements, and climate suitability, a low maintenance lawn can be established to save time and reduce air pollution. Additionally, it encourages a haven for butterflies and bees, while providing a greener and more sustainable landscape.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.