How To Shrink Your Lawn To Save Water And Enhance Your Outdoor Spaces

A lush, green lawn has long been a popular landscaping element, but it’s not the only option for making outdoor spaces inviting. Shrubs, trees, ground covers, and flower gardens can all help to reduce the size of your water-hungry lawn without sacrificing beauty and style. Creating outdoor activity areas with new or expanded concrete patios, walkways, pool decks, or driveways can reduce lawn size as well as provide attractive functional living space for year-round enjoyment.

Let your lawn be a part of your overall landscape plan rather than the main feature

Concrete Craft® can help you reduce your lawn size and reap valuable benefits you may not have considered:

  • Conserve water and reduce your direct water costs
  • Spend less maintenance time on your yard
  • Reduce use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides
  • Less mowing means lower gas lawnmower emissions

Decorative concrete enhancements from patio resurfacing to raised garden enclosures and retaining walls can transform your yards into beautiful gardens intermingled with sculpted grass areas for an upscale, designer look.

The trouble with lawns

Fascination with lawns has made grass the single largest irrigated agricultural “crop” in America, more than corn, wheat, and fruit orchards combined, raising the question, “Are lawns the best use of limited water resources?” Additionally, overwatering lawns is common with automatic sprinklers saturating the ground and sending rivers of water down street curbs. That is, literally, money down the drain! If grass springs back when you walk on it, it doesn’t need watering, so getting in the habit of checking before watering can keep dollars in your pocket. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), about 30 percent of household water use is for outdoor use, mainly watering lawns and gardens. Imagine how much money you could save if you would reduce your lawn size and institute water conservation practices!

Replace turf with gardens

Instead of wall-to-wall grass from street to house, bordering a driveway and walkways with gardens provides space for plants and flowers. The lawn becomes a smaller part of the overall landscape but with no loss of beautiful greenery. There is less lawn to maintain, and the gardens afford the opportunity for a greater variety of texture and color, including dwarf trees, shrubs and perennials that will bloom year after year.

Most landscape plants require less water than turf to stay lush and green

  • Use regionally appropriate, low water-use, and native plants.
  • Group plants according to their water needs to avoid over-or under-watering.
  • For sloped areas, plant deep-root ground covers and shrubs to prevent erosion and runoff.
  • Fruit trees give the benefit of homegrown goodness to enjoy.
  • Plant flowers that bloom at different seasons for brilliant color all year long.

Expand or widen existing concrete surfaces

Another way to downsize your lawn is by upsizing your patio, driveway, or pool deck. Expanding existing structures or installing new ones will greatly impact the cost and time of maintaining a big lawn. The patio below went from barely usable space to an impressive outdoor area about three times the original size with space for patio tables and chairs, a barbeque, potted plants, landscape lights, and outdoor heaters for comfort in any season. Now there’s plenty of room for the kids to actually play on the patio, mom or dad to have a relaxing mid-afternoon time-out, or host a get-together for friends.

Gain living space and lose high-maintenance lawn with a durable, easy-care decorative concrete patio extension

  • A resurfaced decorative concrete overlay, hand-cut and custom-colored, took care of the mismatched concrete slabs for a seamless, beautiful faux flagstone finish.
  • The durable, sealed surface is weather resistant and will not peel, chip, or fade.
  • The finished patio matches perfectly with the brick colors of the house, and no one would ever guess that this patio was not always part of the yard’s landscape.

Transform grasslands to activity areas with seat walls

Whether you have a small backyard that is all grass or a lawn that stretches as far as the eye can see, turning a portion of that space into a useful activity area will enhance your quality of life. Less lawn to mow and maintain, and you’ll gain a defined and useful entertainment space. Custom faux stone seat walls and a fire pit can turn a graveled patio into a functional living space. Portable awnings can introduce shade and patio furniture can be brought into the space as well for cooking over the fire and having a true campfire experience.

Enjoy your wide-open spaces more with enhancements that provide comfort and structure for family activities

  • Seat walls are an easy and inexpensive way to add stylish architectural elements to your front and back yards, adding seating or for defining areas.
  • Concrete Craft’s seat wall system can create unique shapes, stamped with concrete designs that look like real stone, at half the cost.
  • The same vertical concrete resurfacing processes can be used to create knee-high walls for garden areas or to enhance walkways.

Turn your walkways into garden walks

Plain concrete walkways can become beautiful garden walkways with a decorative concrete overlay in a faux stone design, bordered with gardens instead of grass. No more mowing and edging along the walkways to maintain a manicured look, gardens with shrubs and flowering plants will require less maintenance and less water to keep your grounds impressive and inviting. Mix evergreen flowering shrubs like holly and gardenia with favorite flowers and colored bark or stone for continual color all year long.

Beautiful walkways make getting there half the fun!

Don’t spend another summer pouring money into your expansive, expensive lawn. Downsize grass areas and create fantastic gardens and welcomed living space to make your outdoors more pleasantly interactive. Mowing time can become a relaxing time on the patio or around the pool. Contact us today to find the Concrete Craft location nearest you and request a free in-home or virtual* design consultation, whichever works best for you. See how you can reduce your lawn size and enhance your surroundings for summertime fun at the same time.

*Virtual consultation may not be available at all locations.

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