Landscaping Without Grass

10 Landscaping Ideas Without Grass

It can be challenging to find landscaping ideas for areas of your landscape that struggle to grow grass. A few bare spots might not bother you, but leaving large areas of your yard without sod installed leads to ongoing erosion that can drastically change the grade and look of your lawn.

In this article, we’re offering our best 10 landscaping ideas without grass to help improve the look of those unsightly areas in your lawn and landscape.

Landscaped Planting Beds

Landscaping Plant Beds

One of the best ways to provide interest and purpose to an area without grass is to simply create new flower beds and add new landscaping plants. When grouping several plants together, you will want to provide the plants with their own garden bed.

Before planting, define the perimeter of the new bed, remove and/or kill any remaining grass in this area and plan to add new soil, tilling it into the existing soil. This will help keep unwanted grass and weeds out of the flower beds.

Groundcover Plants

If you like the idea of using plants to cover your bare spots but prefer not to create a complete landscaping bed, consider using groundcover plants. There are wide varieties of groundcover plants available which provide low-growing foliage over large areas. These plants can effectively cover and protect the soil from erosion while giving visual interest.

Hardwood Mulch


Larger shade trees are notorious for leaving a homeowner with bare spots directly under the tree where grass does not receive enough sunlight. An inexpensive and simple solution for covering these areas would be to install stone landscape edging and hardwood mulch. The mulch will decompose over time, so plan to replenish the mulch every year.

Stepping Stone Pathway Installed in Backyard

Stepping Stone Pathway

You may find that your lawn is particularly bare along the sides of your home. Side yard areas really lend themselves to pathways as they connect your front and backyards.

Depending on your budget and style, gravel stone pathways can be built by simply adding an aggregate and flagstone pieces or they can be fully defined pathways with travertine stone or concrete pavers and landscape edging.

River Rock Gravel


For larger areas of your yard where grass will not grow, consider using an aggregate, such as gravel, decomposed granite or river rock to cover the soil. Gravel will likely not need replacing, takes little maintenance and offers enough variety of shapes, colors and sizes to make a visually interesting space.

Installed Artificial Turf Instead of Grass

Artificial Turf

While expensive to install, installing artificial turf is another great choice for covering bare areas of your lawn without grass. Artificial turf gives you the look of lush real turfgrass all year round without the hassle of caring for real grass.

Custom Stone Seating Area

Seating Area

If your bare spot happens to be located in a seemingly random part of your yard, consider transforming it into a destination.

For example, you could install rock throughout the area, add a bench and you now have an area for reading and reflection.

For larger areas, add a more level surface like concrete, stone or decomposed granite and then bring in tables and chairs for larger seating area.

Travertine Paver Patio

Paver Patio

You can also take larger areas without grass and create patio spaces. Patios can be created using a wide variety of materials, but we recommend choosing some of the better patio paving materials like concrete pavers, natural stones such as travertine or flagstone or simple concrete.

Water Feature

When you have a small, but featured part of your yard without grass, we suggest highlighting it rather than hiding it. Water features come in all shapes and sizes, provide visual interest as well as the soothing sound of running water.

Stone Fire Pit Area

Fire Pit Area

Another great way to add function in areas of the lawn without grass would be to add a fire pit. Fire pits can be large, custom stonework features or kits purchased at a local hardware store and simply dropped in place.

Whether the area is large or small, front yard or back, there are plenty of creative and budget-friendly solutions that can bring purpose and interest to a bare lawn.

Either way, we hope you find these 10 landscaping ideas without grass helpful and use them for a DIY project or offer them to the local landscaping company you hire to install the project.

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