Landscaping with Ground Covers in Hawaii

Answered by Jeffrey ~ December 17, 2010 ~ No Comments

Would there be any advantages in reduced work and maintenance costs in taking out the front lawn of my Honolulu, Hawaii, home and replacing it with some other sort of ground cover?

Rhonda ~ Honolulu, Hawaii

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Rhonda, I don't know how long you plan to be in your home, but I think the first thing you have to ask yourself when considering a change like this is--how will it affect your resale value and how the home will fit into the neighborhood with the changes?

I don't know much about the real estate market in Honolulu other than wishing I lived there, but if it's slow at all, the last thing you want to do when selling a home is make a change that many potential buyers might be turned off by. I suggest you talk to some local Honolulu real estate agents and get their take on your idea and how it might affect the value of your home. Of course if you have no plans on selling the home for the next 20 years then it's a mute point and you should do whatever you feel comfortable with.

In terms of reduced work and maintenance, I think the only thing you're going to be eliminating is mowing costs. From everything I have ever read about Hawaii it has a climate that's very conducive to growing vegetation so I can't imagine that you spend much on lawn irrigation. Any type of ground cover that grows is still going to need to be trimmed so you'll still have some maintenance costs, although perhaps not as much.

I don't know how large your yard is or if you do your own mowing, but not having grass could eliminate mowing costs if a landscape contractor does it. The only type of lawn cover I can think of that might completely eliminate work and maintenance costs would be artificial grass or some sort of landscaping gravel or sand. I somehow can't imagine artificial grass in a place like Hawaii known for its foliage, but it would definitely reduce your lawn care costs.

Gravel or sand might fit in a little better as a ground cover, but again only if other homes around you have it. If your neighborhood has a lot of people approaching retirement age, a low maintenance ground cover might even be attractive to potential buyers and could increase the value of your home.

I would talk to a local real estate agent for their recommendations and if they think it's a good idea, I would then talk to a local Honolulu landscape contractor for their suggestions of what you should use.

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