How do I get rid of my lawn

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by IngaJ, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. IngaJ

    IngaJ Member

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    Hi all,
    here's my situation: about 1000 square feet of lawn, pretty much all full sun. I live in Spokane, WA, and we have dark, heavy, almost clay loam dirt. I spend a lot of money (mowing company, water, $300 per year) on that lawn, and I'm tired of it. It's not environmentally friendly at all, and I am very interested in a better ecological solution, more native. I did find replacement lawn possibilities (orchard forage mix, Fleur de Lawn) but how can I get rid of the lawn I got? Somebody knows of a solution? I thought of just not watering or cutting at all any more, but all of the lawn is highly visible in the neighborhood. I don't think anybody would like that.

    Thanks for any help!
    Inga
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Two methods I know of are

    - renting a sod cutter and slicing the turf off, rolling it up and putting it somewhere else (preferably turned upside down in a low spot where a little additional soil is needed, rather than hauled to a landfill) and

    - spraying with a herbicide containing glyphosate
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Third method . . .

    - plant some trees and shrubs. They will shade it out in a few years.
     
  4. Beekeeper

    Beekeeper Active Member

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    Cover with black plastic for a couple of months.
     
  5. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Are you going to re-landscape, though? I mean, the gardening magazines are full of plans for getting rid of lawns, involving raised beds with stone walls, steps, a wide swath of pavement stones with plantings in planters... small trees in soil spots among the paving stones... artificial ponds [water gardens] etc... everything from veggies to shrubberies.

    A sabbatical in Denmark one year led us to the concept [not common in Halifax, our home city at the time, and actually we didn't follow through because we had a huge front lawn at the time and the work/expense was daunting] of filling up the front lawn with shrubbery gardens, with a few pathways meandering through -- a lot of Danish homes have non-lawn gardening out front consisting of quite high shrubbery which conceals a small intimate garden close to the front of the house. All kinds, evergreen to deciduous, could grow in your area, I presume, depending on your deer quotient [very high here in Victoria-Saanich BC Canada]. You wouldn't have to destroy all of the lawn at once, just gradually start filling it up and leaving lawn pathways, then changing those to something else like a groundcover if you wished. Dig out the lawn sod [not very deep] and compost it somewhere, if you can, I think the grass and roots would be gone in a year], add some topsoil and your shrubbery beds. Attractive arrangments of low decorative fencing or walls can be included. You'll find lots of ideas on the web, I should thing. Many of us are doing this, so you should have some response once the "March Break" holiday is over, the grandchildren have gone home, and parents/kids have returned to their home bases...
     
  6. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Here's how I did it. My lawn guy had just bought a house when I decided to (A) Put a large deck on the back of the house, and (B) eliminate my entire front yard. I gave the lawn guy my entire back yard lawn, and, over a period of two weeks, he cut it in squares, picked it up and took it home. On the front lawn, it took a little longer, but I dug up the grass, shook out the dirt, threw the grass and roots in the yard trash, and , two large trash barrels per week, eliminated nearly all the lawn in four weeks. As each batch of grass was put in the yard waste can, that days' cleared spot was covered with 6 or 8 layers of newspaper, watered down, and covered with 4 inches of mulch, which was also watered down. The newspaper prevents the growth of new grass/weeds and has kept my "mulch" yard weed free for 6 months(our growing season is 12 months of the year). Where there was a tree, there is now a tree in a flower bed.
    I can decide to put anything anywhere and just do it because nothing is in the way.
     
  7. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    There, you have it! I have been reading of this newspaper method in several places. It ultimately disintegrates and if sufficient soil is placed on top [mulch just moved aside while you plant something, or if a deep hole is required cut thru the paper or tear it aside] then replaced and smoothed over but not closely touching the stems/trunks of any shrubs or plants] the roots of any plantings on top of it just ultimately go through it.
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I am in the process of eliminating what passes for a lawn here. Drought and water restrictions has taken care of the "good Look". I just keep adding plants and weed it out as I go and just compost it. I have inserted paths in this case just wood shavings (get them free) and have a real mixture of plants. I am down to a small area below the decking and that will go this winter.
    Liz
     
  9. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

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    Inga, you'll be spending more than $300 in the first years, but you'll enjoy your gardening experience.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Some other methods of lawn removal . . .

    Hold a games session for local kids

    Invite the army in for some military exercises

    Rent the lawn to a pig farmer for a few days
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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