Please offer lawn suggestions

frank300June 5, 2012

I currently have a a lawn in my front yard that needs work. It has old mulch and weeds keep growing.

I am looking for the following.

1 - Maintenance free. That probably eliminates sod since I don't want to mow.

2 - Something that will reduce the chances of weeds growing once the material to stop weeds is put down.

3 - Something that will repel cats in a humane way. There are some stray cats in my area and they are pooping in my yard.

I'm thinking a combination of some kind of stone and a few maintenance free plants would meet my criteria.

Please also offer you suggestions and things I can currently do to repel cats.

Thank you.

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Nothing is maintenance free, although I suppose concrete and fake plants might get you close.

Even using a weed barrier, a preemergent and heavy mulch, weeds will eventually grow. Period. End of discussion. I, personally, think that it is much harder to deal with the inevitable eventual weeds in a rock mulch than it is in a chip or bark or whatever mulch.

I suppose you could consider some kind of wall-to-wall plant like mondo grass doesn't have to be mowed and, once established, tends to crowd out weeds pretty effectively. That's a classic absentee landlord "lawn" solution in some areas near me. It's kind of ugly, but, I suppose better than the alternatives, where the alternatives are (1) actually keeping up a lawn/garden or (2) a weedy, unkempt mess.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:59AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It is going to depend on where you are. Deactivate the cloaking device.

Around here, the classic no maintenance solution is to hire a lawn guy and write a check once a month. Takes less than a minute and works pretty well. But then around here lawn is green stuff cut at a uniform height. Turf grass is optional, but tends to be in there somewhere. Anything else is going to have weed problems and that includes things like solid concrete (any cracks will become issues) And given that our weeds can get to 70-100 feet tall if let go, you really do need to keep an eye on them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 7:48AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Not far from my house in N. Cal is an infamous 'no lawn no maintenance' garden.
It's right down the street from a community hospital and on a busy corner so it receives a lot of attention.

There is humor, small gravel, a retired lawnmower chained to a rock on a small platform of astro turf, snow white and her seven dwarfs.

It is beloved by the community.

Here is a link that might be useful: snow white and her no maintenance garden

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:12AM
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@DD I love it. Still, in MD, that wouldn't be no maintenance. You'd be blowing leaves and pulling weeds out of that gravel continuously.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:15AM
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That shrubbery needs a shearing to maintain its precise shapiness.

The lawn (and I've got plenty of it) is the least of the maintenance situations for me. Of course, I have a service - something this forum tends to regard as "mow, blow, and go". Have had them for ages, they're reliable, good, and a fair amount younger than I am; leaving me both comfortable writing a monthly check and the three days it would take me to do this myself.

I have yet to see a totally maintenance free yard. As for cats, I don't know - I have deer that leave their scatterings and a bear that wanders through at night leaving his (or hers) too.

Link not as inspired as D-D's, but Google has a few images of no lawn treatments. This one is something lacking cleverness or interest and one I'd not be happy looking out over.

Here is a link that might be useful: It's got stones and a few plants

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:03PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Cat poop is far more objectionable than deer droppings. I love cats, but it stinks. We are currently dealing with a space that has become a neighbourhood cat toilet under one of our windows, and although we never walk out there - it is between the houses - we had to deal with it. We put down some surplus large tiles that have moved them over a bit. Cats will poop where they can scratch an indentation and then cover it. A ground cover would mostly repel this, once established, but will be hard to establish with cats always scratching in the dirt. They will not scratch in hard, compacted dirt, but anything loose is fair game - including small gravel. Think about what kitty litter looks like, and it will be clear!

If you really want NO maintenance, your only option is paving stones (maybe concrete slabs, or rubber slabs) or concrete. I am currently converting some lawn to ground cover, and frankly am dreading the work of establishing it and then controlling it. But the lawn is not working. There may in fact be more paving stones than ground cover in my final scheme.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:51PM
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If I had to list the top ten most intensive maintenance problems at number one would be boxwood growing amongst a pebble mulch. I just had another look at Michelle's pictures though and maybe the old guys meatballs are GM plastic.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:00PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

OP - google CAT DETERRENT - lots of ideas. Can't help with the rest.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Fori is not pleased

In my area I'd use solid agapanthus. In fact I do have a spot in my yard where they are taking over and I'll let them until I'm ready for that job. If a cat could squeeze in to poop, I wouldn't care. No dirt, no weeds, no watering. My own escargot farm.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:25PM
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I've been told that burying chicken wire just below the mulch will deter the cats. Haven't tried it though

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:06PM
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I would put catnip all over the yard then trap them. "Jk btw". Honestly, for your beds a very heavy pinestraw mulch might work depending on whats growing. I usually much a foot to two every fall and it really helps a ton with weeds. Not to mention, the pine straw is free. I don't know your zone though or where your at. Are you NE, SE, Desert, mountains, cali?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:08PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

I would like to hear more from Frank about why he has a garden that he does not want. Cats, now that is difficult. You could get a dog, but dogs require love and attention. An alternative is motion-sensitive sprinklers. Don't move. :-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:35PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd suggest planting some sort of low growing dwarf junipers as a solid ground cover. Boring and unchanging throughout the year, but no weeding once established and the cats won't like it either.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:55AM
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