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Discover the Best Lawn Alternatives for Midwest Gardens in the Central Region

November 24, 2023
5 minutes read
A diverse array of lawn alternatives such as native wildflowers

For many homeowners in the Midwest, a lush green lawn is the holy grail of landscaping. But let's face it, maintaining a perfect lawn can be a never-ending battle against weeds, pests, and unpredictable weather. Not to mention the time and money spent on mowing, watering, and fertilizing. But fear not, my fellow gardeners! There are alternatives to traditional lawns that can save you time, money, and headaches. In this article, we'll explore the best lawn alternatives for Midwest gardens in the central region. So, put down your lawnmower and get ready to discover some exciting groundcover options!

Exploring Alternatives to Traditional Lawns

Are you tired of spending your weekends tending to your lawn, only to have it turn into a patchy mess by midsummer? Well, it's time to think outside the turf! There are plenty of low-maintenance groundcover options that can transform your yard into a beautiful, hassle-free oasis. Let's take a closer look at some of these alternatives.

Low-Maintenance Groundcover Options for Your Yard

If you're looking for a groundcover that requires minimal care and stays green year-round, consider the mighty creeping thyme. This aromatic herb not only adds a delightful fragrance to your garden but also forms a dense, weed-suppressing carpet. And the best part? It loves the sunny and dry conditions often found in Midwest gardens.

If you're after a more natural look, you can't go wrong with clover. This resilient plant is not only tough as nails but also fixes nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers. Plus, its delicate white flowers attract bees and butterflies, adding some extra life to your garden.

Drought-Tolerant Plants for a Beautiful Landscape

Living in the Midwest means dealing with hot, dry summers. But just because your lawn is suffering doesn't mean your garden has to. By choosing drought-tolerant groundcover plants, you can have a beautiful landscape even during the most scorching months.

Sedums, also known as stonecrops, are the superheroes of dry gardens. With their fleshy leaves and vibrant flowers, they can survive long periods without water. Plus, their ability to tolerate all types of soil makes them a perfect choice for Midwest gardens.

Another great option is the prairie dropseed. This native grass forms stunning clumps of fine-textured foliage and produces delicate seed heads that dance in the breeze. And did I mention it's drought-resistant? Talk about a win-win!

Year-Round Groundcover Solutions for Your Lawn

Why settle for a lawn that only looks good for a few months out of the year? With year-round groundcover plants, you can have a gorgeous landscape no matter the season. Let's explore some of these evergreen heroes.

Groundcover Plants That Thrive in All Seasons

One of the most popular year-round groundcovers for Midwest gardens is the creeping juniper. With its dense, spreading foliage and striking blue-green color, it offers a classic and timeless look. But that's not all – this tough little plant is also drought-tolerant and deer-resistant.

If you're looking for something a bit more unique, consider the bearberry. This low-growing shrub has glossy, dark green leaves that turn a vibrant red in the fall. And let's not forget about the berries – they attract birds and add a pop of color to your winter landscape.

Creating a Lush and Green Landscape with Groundcover Plants

Are you dreaming of a vibrant and green landscape that doesn't require constant maintenance? Look no further than evergreen groundcover plants. These versatile beauties can quickly fill in large areas, suppress weeds, and provide an eye-catching backdrop for your garden.

One option that will make your neighbors green with envy is the bugleweed. With its glossy, deep purple leaves and spikes of vibrant blue flowers, it adds a touch of drama to any garden. And did I mention that it's resistant to deer and rabbits? As they say, the grass is always greener on the side of the bugleweed!

Groundcover Plants for Illinois to Tennessee Climates

Living in the Midwest means dealing with a wide range of climates, from chilly winters to hot and humid summers. But fear not, my fellow gardeners – there are groundcover plants that can thrive in the ever-changing conditions of the central region. Let's dive into these resilient beauties.

Native Groundcover Plants for the Midwest Region

When it comes to choosing groundcover plants for your Midwest garden, going native is always a safe bet. Native plants are adapted to the local climate, making them more resilient and easier to maintain. So, why not let Mother Nature do the work for you?

A great native groundcover option for the Midwest is the wild ginger. This low-growing perennial not only forms a dense carpet of heart-shaped leaves but also produces charming little purple flowers in spring. And if you have a shady spot in your garden, wild ginger will feel right at home!

Choosing the Right Groundcover for Your Southern Garden

Living in the southern part of the central region brings its own set of challenges, including hot summers and mild winters. But don't worry – there are groundcover plants that can thrive in these conditions and add a touch of Southern charm to your garden.

One standout option is the liriope, also known as monkey grass. This tough perennial features dense evergreen foliage and produces spikes of delicate purple flowers in summer. Whether you're looking to cover a large area or create a border, liriope is a reliable choice for Southern gardens.


So, there you have it – a guide to the best lawn alternatives for Midwest gardens in the central region. Now, it's time to say goodbye to the never-ending battle against weeds and the constant maintenance of a traditional lawn. Whether you choose low-maintenance groundcovers, drought-tolerant plants, or evergreen beauties, there's a lawn alternative out there that will suit your needs and bring joy to your garden. So, let your creativity run wild, embrace the green revolution, and discover a whole new world of possibilities!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I still have a lawn if I use groundcover plants?

    Of course! Groundcover plants can be used to complement your lawn or even replace portions of it. You can create a mosaic-like effect by combining different groundcover plants with your existing grass. The possibilities are endless!

  2. Are groundcover plants easy to maintain?

    Yes, most groundcover plants are low-maintenance and require minimal care. Once established, they often outcompete weeds and require less water and fertilizer than traditional lawns.

  3. Can groundcover plants withstand foot traffic?

    While groundcover plants are generally not as tolerant of heavy foot traffic as traditional lawns, there are some options that can handle occasional stepping. Look for varieties like creeping thyme or creeping juniper, which can withstand light foot traffic.

  4. How do I choose the right groundcover plants for my garden?

    Consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions, and climate when selecting groundcover plants. Native species are often a good choice as they are well-adapted to the local environment.

  5. Can I still have flowers in my garden if I use groundcover plants?

    Absolutely! Many groundcover plants, such as creeping thyme and sedums, produce colorful flowers that add beauty and interest to your garden. You can have the best of both worlds – groundcover and flowers!

About me
Liz Walker
Liz Walker
Hey there! I am Liz, a dedicated gardener and nature enthusiast with over two decades of hands-on experience.
Through my articles, I share insights ranging from organic pest control to creating stunning garden designs.
My aim is to inspire you with the joys of gardening, providing practical advice that makes nurturing your green space both fulfilling and enjoyable.
More about Liz
Liz Walker
Liz Walker
Hey there!

I am Liz, the founder of MyAeroGardening. 
Through my articles, I share insights ranging from organic pest control to creating stunning garden designs.
My aim is to inspire you with the joys of gardening, providing practical advice that makes nurturing your green space both fulfilling and enjoyable.
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