Lawn Grass Alternatives

Traditional grass used in lawns have their shortcomings. Even though plush, traditional grass requires gallons of water, stringent upkeep, and maintenance. Not only is it cumbersome, but maintaining a lawn can be costly, especially in temperamental regions like Minneapolis, where summers can be harsh, and winters are below freezing.

Thankfully, there are a myriad of grass alternatives that will work with your current landscape, with grass variants that are winter and insect resistant, and even varieties that will grow slowly over time, reducing lawn maintenance. Here are the more popular lawn grass alternatives that have been growing on many lawns across Minnesota.

No Mow Grass Alternatives

No-mow grass is useful because they aren’t as demanding of your time and money, making it the ideal option for those who aren’t too involved with their lawns. These types of grass are naturally robust, not requiring fertilizers or mulches for you to have a green, vibrant greenway.

Premixed, No Mow Grasses

Premixed packages of this type of grass will come packaged with many different types of seeds that have the common trait of growing slowly, allowing you to spend your time enjoying your backyard instead of wasting it with maintenance. These premixes may not be ideal if you want continuity, or if you require grass that does not flower.

Insect Repellent Grass Alternatives

Summers in Minnesota could be hot and unusually humid, bringing in the mosquitoes and critters. Thankfully, there are lawn grass alternatives that are naturally repellent to mosquitoes. You do not need to remodel your yard completely – just installing a few bushels and using different types of grass to accent the landscape will give an aesthetic touch to your outdoor spaces while keeping mosquitoes at bay.


Traditionally used as a natural insect repellent, Sweetgrass consist of compounds that naturally repel mosquitoes. Phytol and coumarin are the compounds that aren’t only found in the leaves of the sweetgrass plant, but it is also a standard component in many conventional insect repellents.

LemongrassImage result for how to grow lemongrass

Lemongrass works by masking the CO2 that you exhale – the primary compounds that attract mosquitoes. Lemongrass works by essentially hiding your position to mosquitoes, making them a natural insect repellent.


Microclover is mixed with other seeds, but can be planted by themselves. It’s low growing and doesn’t often flower. This will mean that there will be fewer bees around your lawn. The white or Dutch variety of the microclover grass tend to be particularly hardy and makes the ideal alternative grass.

Winter Proof Grass Alternatives

Parts of Minnesota receive the brunt of the winter season, especially in International Falls, which is sometimes named the “icebox of the nation.” For a lush lawn during the warmer months, you want to plant seeds and grasses that are naturally repellent to the cold temperatures.

Ryegrass, Bluegrass, and Bentgrass

These types of grass fare well during Minnesota’s cold winters. You can mix these seeds for a custom blend, or you can use one type of winter-resistant grass for the whole lawn. For the best results, it’s best to plant during the late fall season, allowing the seeds to enter a stage of dormancy during the winter. By the time spring comes around, you will have a lush, green lawn.

Don’t forget about the unique benefits of synthetic grass. Even though many tend to scoff at artificial grass, newer technologies have made synthetic grass almost indiscernible to natural grass. Artificial turf has graduated from bristly, fake doormats. Manufacturers have made them look just as natural as real grass. The benefits of synthetic grass are that there are no watering, mowing, or chemicals required.