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Denver Tree Service Explains Great Grass-Free Groundcover Options For Your Yard

August 22, 2018

When it comes to creating a beautiful landscape for a front or backyard, many people opt to plant a lush lawn on the property. However nice a thick carpet of grass might be, it’s not the only groundcover option. Grass is incredibly high maintenance, requires a lot of water to thrive, and can be a source of annoyance for many homeowners. As a solution to the problem,, many Denver landscaping companies opt for more versatile and unique groundcover options. Here are a few popular grass alternatives to breathe new life into your yard without dramatically increasing your weekly yardwork tasks.

Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is a relative of the commonly used cooking herb. Though it’s not edible, it does make fantastic groundcover, especially for yards with dry soil. The plant spreads quickly, is easily controlled and directed, and requires virtually no mowing. Under ideal conditions, creeping thyme only reaches a maximum height of six inches, but when homeowners are conservative with water, it typically stands at three inches tall. The leaves form a thick carpet, making it ideal for homeowners with small children. Best of all, the roots won’t choke out other plants, and it’s fine to incorporate the groundcover in heavily landscaped areas or garden beds. You’ll even be able to enjoy the bright red flowers during the summer, adding color to your yard.


If you’ve ever thought of clover as a weed, you’re not alone. While many homeowners choose to remove this plant from their yards, you don’t have to. In fact, clover is an ideal groundcover for most Denver homes as it grows naturally, requires minimal water, and creates a lush green bed throughout the yard. Though clover can diminish the appearance of a grassy lawn, when left to its own devices, it creates a beautiful grass alternative for your yard. Best of all, the plant requires minimal mowing and no fertilizer as it adapts quickly to the soil conditions in your yard. Keep in mind you will want to mow occasionally to keep the plant from blooming. However, if you’re not opposed to small white flowers or the pollinators they attract, you’re free to let it grow with abandon.

English Ivy

Ivy is an incredibly hardy plant, but it does carry with it a few risks. The roots run deep and can be difficult to remove should you decide to use it as groundcover. However, ivy is also cold weather resistant and comes back year after year. If you have a yard with soil that’s difficult for grass to thrive in or heavily shaded, ivy can be the perfect option. You will need to prune the plant back if it starts spreading to the house or clinging to trees and structures around the yard. Letting it grow unchecked can cause your yard to quickly get overrun.

Lamb’s Ear

Lamb’s ear may not be the best ground covering for a full yard, but it’s a wonderful addition to garden beds, walkways, and even around the base of your trees. These plants are well-known for their soft and fuzzy green leaves. Unlike decorative grasses, they require minimal maintenance and are completely safe for pets and kids alike. The leaves are soft enough that they won’t cause skin irritation, even if your little one decides to play with them for hours on end. The plant thrives in full sun, but requires minimal maintenance and is relatively drought-tolerant making it ideal for most Denver homes. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about mowing or pruning them as they rarely grow more than six inches tall.


IF water conservation is your priority, gravel may be the right option for your yard. Gravel is available in different sizes, textures, and colors, giving you the ultimate control over the way your yard looks. The material is easy to spread and the only maintenance you need to do is periodically remove weeds and sweep any stray chunks of rock back into place. Many homeowners looking to create a low-maintenance play area for small children see great success with gravel, especially rounded pea gravel. Regardless of the type of gravel you choose, you’ll never have to worry about mowing or watering the surface. Keep in mind that you may need to work with an experienced landscaper to spread the gravel properly and replace material that goes missing after a few years.

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has come a long way from the fake grass of the 1970s. Modern artificial turf looks remarkably like real grass and feels great under bare feet. Just like regular grass, it can be placed anywhere in your yard. Unlike normal grass, it requires absolutely no maintenance and will last for many years even after exposure to the high levels of sunshine common to the Denver area. If mud or dust collects on the surface, all you need to do is spray it away with a high-pressure nozzle or hose. The material can’t become infested with weeds, is naturally mold and mildew resistant, and will give you years of comfortable maintenance-free landscape design.


When you’re looking for groundcover for a garden bed or even a play area, nothing works better than mulch. This all-natural groundcover adds nutrients to the soil, improves plant growth, and adds a unique and beautiful pop of color to any yard. Mulch has the added benefit of being an affordable groundcover choice and requires minimal maintenance. Keep in mind that any area you mulch will eventually need to be refreshed with new material as the old mulch will break down over time.

The right groundcover can lead to happy landscaping and trees throughout your property. If you’re looking for help finding the right groundcover to keep your trees healthy year-round, contact Arbor Garden today. Our dedicated tree care experts will help you maintain your existing trees or help new additions thrive in your Denver yard. Schedule a routine tree trimming appointment today and set your yard up for success before the growing season is over.