You know with this California drought, we have to use less water. We’ve been asked by the Governor to reduce water usage by 28% from 2013. And, our city has restricted sprinkler use to two times a week. So, because of the drought, we decided it was time to start Removing the Lawn.
Whew! That’s a lot of work!
We’ve had some of these things planned since 2010, when we took the parkway out (the parkway is that little section between the sidewalk and the street that no one really uses for anything), and replaced it with xeriscaping. Here’s the update I wrote about the parkway in 2011. And, I still love it! It’s minimal maintenance, and I never water it. In that post I talked a little about the next phases of the project. Well, one thing lead to another, and here we are in 2015, finally working on the rest of the project. Of course, we’ve expanded the whole thing now.
We decided to take out all of the lawn in the front yard, and about half of the lawn in the backyard. 1,800 square feet of lawn has been removed. That leaves us with a backyard lawn of 27′ x 30’9″ (approximately 830 sq. ft.).
FUN FACT, FUN FACT, FUN FACT: our first apartment together was only 650 sq. ft.
So, I’ve been really busy Removing the Lawn lately. Here are some pictures from the project so far. I’ll continue to update the project here so you can see the progress.
Let’s start the tour in the back yard:
Back yard before: you can see the orange chalk line where we will remove the lawn to. We are keeping about half of the lawn in the backyard. And, you’ll notice that the area is staked and roped off. This is required by the city, and be sure that you call before you dig to make sure you don’t hit any utility pipes or systems.
The first step was to rent a sod cutter and cut out the lawn. So, this picture was the first pass with the sod cutter. Dan did all of the hard labor for this!
The next steps are to pick up the weed block fabric (it was just laid down temporarily so we had a little extra cover over the dirt and weeds), and then we need to rent a tiller and till the area removing a little more dirt and getting it all to be level. I’ll lay the weed block fabric back down, and cover it with mulch. Once that’s complete, we have a little extra time while Dan works on building the forms and laying concrete for large concrete squares in the backyard. The squares will be surrounded by creeping lemon thyme so that when you step on the thyme it will smell nice and repel mosquitoes.
And, the front yard:
This is where the project stands now. I’ll still need to cap all the sprinkler heads. Then, we’ll till the front yard as well, removing some dirt and making it level. Cover it with weed block fabric and mulch. Then, in the large space on the right I’ll put in a meadow, with lovely native drought tolerant plants (soon, I’ll be sharing some ideas for plants I’ve gotten from a friend and through some research I’ve done). The smaller space next to the driveway will be concrete squares like the backyard. This will give a nice pathway up to the front door.
We’ve created a Pinterest board for some of our inspiration.
Anyway, whew, that’s what we’ve been busy on lately. There are so many steps in a huge project like this. And, we have decided to do it all ourselves. I like the accomplishment of a project like this (though it can be a little overwhelming at times). And, I like the learning that goes along with a project. Let me know if you are trying something like this in your yards. And, if I’ve left out any of the steps and details. There are so many!