One homeowner stunned Reddit with their surprisingly low-effort transformation from ghastly grass to glorious garden.
While artificial turf had a spike in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, recent reports show most homeowners regret buying it. The benefit of not having to mow vanishes when you realize you have to vacuum your yard instead, and the plastic is unhealthy for people, pets, and the environment.
So when this homeowner found artificial turf at their new house, it had to go.
“I bought this house a year ago,” they explained in their before-and-after post on r/NoLawns. “Very first thing I did was pull out that godawful plastic lawn.”
Normally, a gardener would also have to remove the layers underneath the artificial turf and replace them with new, healthy topsoil. However, this homeowner thought they might be able to cut a few corners.
“[I] decided to plant directly into the builders’ substrate they’d laid it on,” they said. “The plants are surprisingly happy living in that crap.”
The Redditor also shared before-and-after photos as evidence of their incredible progress. In the “before” shot, the turf is rolled back to display a grainy substrate contained inside a wooden frame.
The “after” shot is unrecognizable. Thriving plants fill the box from wall to wall with an incredible variety of colors and shapes. Even in the London autumn, a few flowers still bloom. A curving path of stepping stones leads through the center of the garden.
In a comment, the original poster explained that they took full advantage of the resilience of native plants. “The rules: no watering, no pesticides, no herbicides, no fertilizing, no weeding until 100% sure what it is,” they said.
That time-saving, money-saving approach is one of the major benefits of planting natives — plus, they feed and shelter local wildlife, including pollinators. Other lawn alternatives, like clover, buffalo grass, and xeriscaping, are similarly low-maintenance and good for the environment. Even transforming part of your lawn makes a shocking difference.
Commenters loved seeing this garden flip from the worst plastic trash to the best native habitat. “Massive improvement, looks phenomenal,” said one user.
“Thank you for showing you don’t need to amend heavily to get things growing,” said another commenter.
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