What can I do with a front yard on which no grass will grow?


I have no grass in front yard, completely shaded. I've tried mulch, small pebbles, dogs just use for bathroom and cats.Too expensive for rocks, or stones. Ground cover will not grow. Nothing there now but hard dirt. Need cheap diy ideas.

  10 answers
  • Annie Annie on Jan 17, 2020

    I have a perennial bed that is is complete shade, maybe some of these plants would work?


  • Annie Annie on Jan 17, 2020

    How large is your front yard? Could you turn a part of it into a shaded sitting area?

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 17, 2020

    Ryegrasa and Fine Tall Fescues work best in the shade. You might need a load of topsoil but that isn't cheap. You didn't mention where you are located and the zone which will have some influence on your choices and options. Zoysia is good in warm areas and shade but a bit pricey.

    Have you consider ornamental grass or clover? There is one species of clover that works well in shade. If you go that route, double the seed rate. Moss, creeping charlie (but it will take over) or thyme might be other shade loving alternatives.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 17, 2020

    Brenda: I've had good luck growing caladiums in shade. I buy them in bulk at Sams Club in the spring. (About 1/2+ of them will even come up the next year!)

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 17, 2020

    Buy gravel in the masonry/concrete section, not in lawn/garden section. 50 lbs for $2.50.

    Go out to the country and pick up some big rocks and go to the river and pick up some interesting driftwood.

    Yard Art can be made from all kinds of discarded items.

    Lay out your yard on graph paper and place your objects like an artist’s painting- as in make a balanced, not symmetrical, composition.

    Shade cloth might be cheaper than weed barrier, but you’ll need the water to drain through and plastic sheeting won’t do that unless you have time to poke 100 holes in it.

    Edging doesn’t have to be the official plastic edging. In the masonry department are “bender boards” for forming sidewalk and driveway pours. Bricks, blocks, rocks - can also be edging.

    The gravel itself can be colored with diluted scrap house paint- so you can have different shades of gravel, if it fits into your composition.

    Japanese Landsscape designs are a good source I inspiration and how to set rocks to look like they’ve been there 200 years.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jan 17, 2020

    I had the same problem so what I did was when it rained I would go the day before and seed then keep the dogs off the grass does need sun .keep watering it for 2 weeks and keep reseeding it befor it rains you don’t have to reseed the whole yard just spots that get washed away try to keep the seeds in place.you could even rake the dirt a little to get the seeds to stay keep watering that is the trick water .

  • Brenda Brenda on Jan 17, 2020

    Thank you for your reply. I tried the seeds and rye grass

    would not grow. Apparently some dog owners let their dogs

    out at night and thats when they get in my yard also could

    be cats. Can not control that.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 17, 2020

    I am writing a book called The Edible Yard, as I’m tired of the crazy cycle of water grass, mow grass, fertilize grass, mow grass and I cannot eat grass.

    What’s your favorite stealth thing to plant in the yard that won’t get you in Troy PE with the City?

  • Rymea Rymea on Jan 18, 2020

    Maybe you need to get the trees trimmed up a ways and the branches thinned to let light in underneath them.

  • Brenda Brenda on Jan 18, 2020

    Thanks, but the trees have been trimmed and the neighbors

    trees and house blocks the sun. ........Guess my only

    solution is gravel and landscape rocks. That way the dogs

    and cats can't scratch.