Author Topic: Best way to get rid of a lawn?  (Read 1567 times)

Ian

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Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« on: July 24, 2019, 02:37:12 PM »
I bought a house I'm happy with, but one of the amenities is a minus as far as I'm concerned: it has a large back yard. Spending time mowing it on a regular basis is not something I'm eager to do. Though I've been looking through past threads, I decided to make my own because my goals are a little different.

In an ideal world my lawn would not exist. I'm open to any alternative so long as it's low maintenance, but ideally I'd like an inexpensive option. I've looked into local natural grasses that don't require watering or mowing, but they sound similar to flower beds in terms of work. I've considered a rock garden, but even buying cheap local rock in bulk, it's relatively expensive.

Does anyone have suggestions for alternatives I might not have considered? I don't have a HOA or other impediments, so in theory I'm open to anything.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 02:51:04 PM »
I don't expect you to like all the suggestions, here's mine. If it was me I would let a neighbour use it as a garden or as part of their yard. I'm currently tending to some back alley spots for neighbours and in return I grow some vegetables there; mostly potatoes at first but I stared some raspberries as well as I think this is going to keep going for years. 

In other words, could you let someone else do the work for you?

Ian

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 06:58:19 PM »
I don't expect you to like all the suggestions, here's mine. If it was me I would let a neighbour use it as a garden or as part of their yard. I'm currently tending to some back alley spots for neighbours and in return I grow some vegetables there; mostly potatoes at first but I stared some raspberries as well as I think this is going to keep going for years. 

In other words, could you let someone else do the work for you?
Thanks for the response. I don't know if I have neighbors who would be interested in that, but this wasn't on my mental radar at all, so I appreciate the suggestion.

red_pill

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2019, 07:59:19 PM »
How big of an area are we talking about?

I did exactly what you are doing and naturescaped our yard.  It is not zero maintenance but way easier than lawns.  And the more established it gets the less maintenance it is.


Ian

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 09:30:40 PM »
How big of an area are we talking about?

I did exactly what you are doing and naturescaped our yard.  It is not zero maintenance but way easier than lawns.  And the more established it gets the less maintenance it is.
I'm not completely sure because the yard is irregular, but based on the lot size I'd estimate 6000 square feet.

Googling naturescaping didn't get quite what I expected. Do you have a favorite link to start me off?

red_pill

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 10:04:43 PM »
I'm no expert that's for sure.  But having done it once here's my suggestion:

Essentially you want to let nature take the lawn over.  Lawns suck for the environment anyway.  Not sure if you have a septic field to worry about but I didnt.

First thing you can do is plant your big trees.  I chose deciduous trees on the south side of my house to create shade to reduce cooling costs in summer.  Trees can go in right away since they take so damn long to grow and nothing you do later will impact them.

The next step is to get rid of the grass.  You can either kill it with spray (boo), kill it with darkness (cardboard and mulch), or pull it out.   I pulled mine out.  Rent a sod cutter if you want.  I did mine with a pick and shovel.  Great workout.  Disposal can be a hassle since our landfills here wont take sod.  YMMV.

Then you can plant your stuff.  Some people advocate using only local plants. As in, what is in your local forests and plant that.  We picked a number of flowering plants and whatnot to attract pollinators. Not everything was local for us. But we get tons of butterflies and hummingbirds.

A water feature is awesome as well.  You can do a pond if bugs aren't an issue.  It will attract all sorts of cool wildlife.

Anyway, that's the basics of it.  You can pick away at it and slowly expand your non grass lawn over time.  We love ours.  It is amazing how much more life is in our yard compared to the average suburban lawn.  I wonder what would happen if we all got rid of our grass and restored some bio diversity.




Roadrunner53

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 05:31:36 AM »
You have made an investment in a piece of property and you sometimes have to think about the future. If you sell the house will the Garden of Eden be something other people would like? If they have kids, they would want a yard for the kids to play in, to put in swing sets, dogs, picnic tables, bbq equipment, etc. If they love the house but hate the yard, they will look elsewhere.

Are you interested in an in ground pool? That would take up some space but again, more work would be needed to maintain the pool.

You could put in a massive concrete patio, put in concrete sidewalks. Put in some decorative outdoor stepping stones. Put in some outdoor sculptures

How about artificial turf?

If you plant trees, put a circular 'well' around each tree and fill with mulch.

Hosta plants are nice and get pretty big. Makes a nice boarder and takes up about a 3 foot diameter when fully matured.

Put in shrubs.

Put in raised flower beds or raised veggie gardens.

Put in a fire pit.

Put in an outdoor fountain. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+install+an+outdoor+fountain&view=detail&mid=811AAA962EA8AD4D88BE811AAA962EA8AD4D88BE&FORM=VIRE

You can make boarders, sidewalks, flower beds of mulch. Make sure you use cardboard or landscape cloth underneath to kill the grass. This is probably the cheapest option. Each year you can add fresh mulch to brighten it all up.

Can you put in a 2 car garage with a loft on top to take up space? You could make the loft a studio apartment and get a renter to live there to make money.

Keep in mind that when you let the yard go back to nature, you may have an increase in ticks which can cause serious illness.

Like I said in the beginning, if you are going to do something to your yard that will be kind of permanent, think it over because when/if you go to sell it,  back yards are very important to families typically.

mistymoney

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 06:45:52 AM »
I'm no expert that's for sure.  But having done it once here's my suggestion:

Essentially you want to let nature take the lawn over.  Lawns suck for the environment anyway.  Not sure if you have a septic field to worry about but I didnt.

First thing you can do is plant your big trees.  I chose deciduous trees on the south side of my house to create shade to reduce cooling costs in summer.  Trees can go in right away since they take so damn long to grow and nothing you do later will impact them.

The next step is to get rid of the grass.  You can either kill it with spray (boo), kill it with darkness (cardboard and mulch), or pull it out.   I pulled mine out.  Rent a sod cutter if you want.  I did mine with a pick and shovel.  Great workout.  Disposal can be a hassle since our landfills here wont take sod.  YMMV.

Then you can plant your stuff.  Some people advocate using only local plants. As in, what is in your local forests and plant that.  We picked a number of flowering plants and whatnot to attract pollinators. Not everything was local for us. But we get tons of butterflies and hummingbirds.

A water feature is awesome as well.  You can do a pond if bugs aren't an issue.  It will attract all sorts of cool wildlife.

Anyway, that's the basics of it.  You can pick away at it and slowly expand your non grass lawn over time.  We love ours.  It is amazing how much more life is in our yard compared to the average suburban lawn.  I wonder what would happen if we all got rid of our grass and restored some bio diversity.

step one I think would be the hardscaping, and that can cut down on a lot of the mowing. A nice large patio, fire pit, cookout area, eating and lounging spaces. Then paths, etc. then put in the trees and what not.

If cost is a concern, could take it one step at time, one area converted each year.

But thinking about costs, I have a similar sized lot. Basic mowing services in my area are pretty inexpensive. I saw a card recently for 10 weekly, 20 every other week. The have a truck with a tow thing with all equipment, 3-4 guys jump out, one blows on a huge mower. Not a ride on but the mower part is about 4' wide, one mows, stuff is bagged and they are literally done in 10 minutes or less.

I think they give really good prices when they have business on the block already, so they can hit the front yard in one go with contiguous places and could likely do 8/hour on the same street/block.

Compared to ripping out 7k sf of grass and replacing it with *anything else presentable* I'd seriously consider cost comparisons.

Sibley

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 08:21:58 AM »
Given the size of the area, anything you do will have significant upfront costs. Plants and trees are expensive, and require quite a bit of care initially (watering) to help them get established. If you're doing hardscaping, that's a lot of work and materials costs as well.

I recommend maintaining what you've got for now while you develop an overall master plan. It's almost August. You can't plant anything right now anyway, so you've got at least a month to plan. (You plant in spring and fall generally.) Once you know what you want to do, then break it down into the proper order. You don't plant a huge garden bed then immediately run over it with a bobcat planting trees.

Personally, I'm a fan of natives. I'm slowly converting my lawn towards grass alternatives (clover and microclover). Better for the bees, and they're hardier than grass. I've planted 2 trees and am trying to figure out if I can do more (damn plumbing!). When choosing plants, I'm selecting ones that should thrive once established and be low maintenance. Native plants are part of that - they already like the local climate. It's a slow process though.

mozar

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2019, 11:01:27 AM »
Try searching "low mow" or "no mow" yard. You can plant a little bit of clover and let it take over. Over time it will choke out the grass. I plan on doing mulching around trees and big plants.
If I had that much space and lived in an area with loose regulations I would park a tiny house in the yard to rent out and advertise it comes with a "garden" and let them do something with it. If you do that be prepared for the onslaught of hipster millennials.
Is there a local elementary school or horticulture school that could use more space?

Ian

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2019, 11:15:40 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.

The next step is to get rid of the grass.  You can either kill it with spray (boo), kill it with darkness (cardboard and mulch), or pull it out.   I pulled mine out.  Rent a sod cutter if you want.  I did mine with a pick and shovel.  Great workout.  Disposal can be a hassle since our landfills here wont take sod.  YMMV.
I've heard mixed things about the darkness option, and haven't looked into getting mulch yet. Do you have a ballpark for how long and expensive that process is?

You have made an investment in a piece of property and you sometimes have to think about the future. If you sell the house will the Garden of Eden be something other people would like? If they have kids, they would want a yard for the kids to play in, to put in swing sets, dogs, picnic tables, bbq equipment, etc. If they love the house but hate the yard, they will look elsewhere.
I appreciate your post, which is filled with a lot of good suggestions that might be useful to anyone else reading. I should probably have said that my plan for FI counts my primary residence as a liability instead of an asset. Because it's a relatively inexpensive house, it won't have much impact on me if I'm never able to sell it.

Having said that, I did decide against some options because I don't want to nuke the property unnecessarily. I'll answer a couple of your other questions where I have more information to add.

How about artificial turf?
I considered it, but a rough calculation suggests it would have to last for 100+ years to be less expensive than hiring someone to handle the lawn.

Can you put in a 2 car garage with a loft on top to take up space? You could make the loft a studio apartment and get a renter to live there to make money.
It's a narrow lot and the street side is already fairly full, so only the loft would be possible.

But thinking about costs, I have a similar sized lot. Basic mowing services in my area are pretty inexpensive. I saw a card recently for 10 weekly, 20 every other week. The have a truck with a tow thing with all equipment, 3-4 guys jump out, one blows on a huge mower. Not a ride on but the mower part is about 4' wide, one mows, stuff is bagged and they are literally done in 10 minutes or less.
I don't have local numbers, but I've seriously considered this as well. Though in an ideal world I'd like something that doesn't require much outside involvement, that might end up being more economical.

Try searching "low mow" or "no mow" yard. You can plant a little bit of clover and let it take over. Over time it will choke out the grass. I plan on doing mulching around trees and big plants.
If I had that much space and lived in an area with loose regulations I would park a tiny house in the yard to rent out and advertise it comes with a "garden" and let them do something with it. If you do that be prepared for the onslaught of hipster millennials.
Is there a local elementary school or horticulture school that could use more space?
I've considered clover but heard mixed things about how well it does in sunny lawns in my region. There would also be the question of how easily I can get rid of the grass and other plants.

I don't think I have many schools (or hipsters) nearby, but those are interesting suggestions.

Villanelle

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 11:24:01 AM »
For the turf quote, is that to have it installed, or to DIY?  I have an acquaintance DIY this and recall him saying that while it wasn't super cheap, it was a manageable DIY project--time and labor intensive but not requiring skill, and that he saved a mint compared to the quotes for installation.


Lichen

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 11:31:44 AM »
Xeriscaping may be a better term to search. A clover lawn (choose a native non-invasive variety for your area) is also a low maintenance option. Also, check with your city/water company -- many are offering rebates or ongoing discounts for getting rid of the grass.

As for worrying that lack of a lawn will dissuade buyers, I wouldn't worry about it too much, particularly if you are in the west or southwest (although in a decade it will likely be nearly country-wide). Lawns are quickly falling onto the undesirable list due to water (and maintenance) concerns in many regions. In some new developments,  new grass lawns are no longer allowed or are severely frowned upon. A city I recently moved from in the PNW (on the dry side of WA) gives discounts on water bills to those that get rid of their lawn.

We replaced our front lawn, at a house that sold in less than 24 hours, years ago with a native clover lawn (the Oregon State Uni blend, to be exact). Mowed it about once a month, never fertilized, rarely if ever watered it on purpose, and really enjoyed all the bumble bees and butterflies that it attracted. Bonus -- the kids and dog could still play on it barefoot. The lack of a grass lawn with our predominantly millennial, young gen X potential buyers was a huge draw, and commented on constantly. Our real estate agent even highlighted it in the listing because it was so desirable not to have traditional grass in our area. Many of the rising generation of home buyers are more environmentally minded as well as more prone to valuing time and experiences over appearances, so what used to be considered a drawback (lack of postage stamp grass lawn) is now seen as a benefit. And really, paint, carpets, and landscaping seem to be the things new homeowners change out almost right away after purchase anyway. So as long as it doesn't look like crap, it's not likely to prevent the sale of a home.

Another thing, if you have trouble disposing of sod contact your local master gardeners. They may be able to direct you to a local composting program where you can drop it off for free or a small fee. Many schools/universities (especially those with ag or enviro programs), farms, etc accept yard waste for their large scale composting needs.

yyc-phil

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 11:39:55 AM »
I have no clue whatsoever about yard work and growing anything (spent most of my adult life in the Arctic, I was probably 14 the last time I mowed a lawn...).

Isn't leaving the grass growing without doing anything a viable option? What about growing wildflowers on uncut grass? I recall seeing a few places where the owner had seeded mixed wildflowers on their front lawn and let nature do its job, and the whole place looked like it was out of The Little House on the Prairie. 

Roots&Wings

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2019, 11:43:11 AM »
The next step is to get rid of the grass.  You can either kill it with spray (boo), kill it with darkness (cardboard and mulch), or pull it out.   I pulled mine out.  Rent a sod cutter if you want.  I did mine with a pick and shovel.  Great workout.  Disposal can be a hassle since our landfills here wont take sod.  YMMV.
I've heard mixed things about the darkness option, and haven't looked into getting mulch yet. Do you have a ballpark for how long and expensive that process is?

You can often get free mulch/wood chips from local tree services, who would rather deliver it free nearby rather than pay disposal fees. That's what I've been doing (cardboard, then mulch on top). For sod removal, it's a ton of work to dig out.

caracarn

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2019, 11:43:42 AM »
Goats.

yyc-phil

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2019, 11:50:01 AM »
Goats.

Exactly what my cousin does at her hobby farm in Spain. With fresh organic milk as a bonus.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2019, 11:50:30 AM »
A permaculture food forest is maybe another term for the previously mentioned naturescaping or foodscaping. Lots of options for eliminating lawn.

FIRE@50

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2019, 12:16:26 PM »
I would do nothing. Just sit on the back deck and watch it grow. I imagine pretty soon you will have some fun furry friends moving in too!

Sibley

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2019, 12:38:26 PM »
I have no clue whatsoever about yard work and growing anything (spent most of my adult life in the Arctic, I was probably 14 the last time I mowed a lawn...).

Isn't leaving the grass growing without doing anything a viable option? What about growing wildflowers on uncut grass? I recall seeing a few places where the owner had seeded mixed wildflowers on their front lawn and let nature do its job, and the whole place looked like it was out of The Little House on the Prairie.

Local codes often include things about unmaintained yards. Meaning, don't mow ever = fines. Obviously, it varies based on location, but if you're in an urban or suburban area, you probably can't get away with not mowing grass.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2019, 01:25:11 PM »
Here are some pictures of what OP might get some ideas from: https://wartaku.net/2017/08/16/30-gorgeous-grassless-backyard-landscaping-ideas/

Solar lights are nice imbedded into mulch.

Outdoor sheds are nice but if you don't plan to do yard work you might not need them. Maybe a 'she shed' or a 'he shed' for hobbies?

I saw something interesting. This person had a large yard but had picket fencing close to the house so there was very little 'yard' inside the picket fence. Not sure what they did with the yard outside the picket fence though.

Maybe you could make a rock sculpture with fake plastic rocks and put a waterfall over the rocks. https://www.amazon.com/Emsco-Group-8285-1-Natural-Granite/dp/B07JVVQJ59/ref=asc_df_B07JVVQJ59/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583451663033389&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rock+waterfall+fountain+outdoor&i=lawngarden&crid=14FZNCZ5HZOJU&sprefix=rock+waterfall%2Clawngarden%2C181&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_14


affordablehousing

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2019, 01:30:26 PM »
If you're questioning the cost of mulch, you probably should just let it turn into a weed field. If you aren't ready to throw down at least a few thousand bucks, just leave it alone. One other way to get rid of the lawn would be to rent goats, they come to your property, eat everything, and leave with their handler. One other low water cover crop alternative is Kurapia. But even that will cost some money for that big a space.

Ian

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2019, 04:31:51 PM »
For the turf quote, is that to have it installed, or to DIY?  I have an acquaintance DIY this and recall him saying that while it wasn't super cheap, it was a manageable DIY project--time and labor intensive but not requiring skill, and that he saved a mint compared to the quotes for installation.
I'm fairly certain the ranges I've seen were to have it installed.

Xeriscaping may be a better term to search. A clover lawn (choose a native non-invasive variety for your area) is also a low maintenance option. Also, check with your city/water company -- many are offering rebates or ongoing discounts for getting rid of the grass.
It's not likely in my region, but I just wanted to say that it's nice that some cities offer this.

Isn't leaving the grass growing without doing anything a viable option? What about growing wildflowers on uncut grass? I recall seeing a few places where the owner had seeded mixed wildflowers on their front lawn and let nature do its job, and the whole place looked like it was out of The Little House on the Prairie.
I believe I'd be fined for this.

You can often get free mulch/wood chips from local tree services, who would rather deliver it free nearby rather than pay disposal fees. That's what I've been doing (cardboard, then mulch on top). For sod removal, it's a ton of work to dig out.
Thanks, I figured there would be a good option along these lines but hadn't considered that.

Outdoor sheds are nice but if you don't plan to do yard work you might not need them. Maybe a 'she shed' or a 'he shed' for hobbies?
I neglected to mention that I actually have two sheds. I don't have a use for them now, but they might be good to have in the future and they do use up a fair amount of square footage.

One other way to get rid of the lawn would be to rent goats, they come to your property, eat everything, and leave with their handler. One other low water cover crop alternative is Kurapia. But even that will cost some money for that big a space.
I wouldn't want to raise goats myself, but the idea of renting them hadn't even occurred to me. I will look into this, thanks.

mozar

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2019, 04:50:59 PM »
Quote
Isn't leaving the grass growing without doing anything a viable option? What about growing wildflowers on uncut grass? I recall seeing a few places where the owner had seeded mixed wildflowers on their front lawn and let nature do its job, and the whole place looked like it was out of The Little House on the Prairie.

My HOA specifically says you have to keep grass under 10 inches. Any other plant can be as tall as you want.

Radagast

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2019, 07:41:48 PM »
I'm experimenting with letting the tiny side yard of my house become mint. It's about 60'X5'. Last year I planted 9 mint plants and ran a drip line loop down it. It seems like 5-10% is mint just a year later. Hoping in 2-3 years it will be 100% mint :D

flannel

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2019, 08:56:18 PM »
I know this isnít what you want to here, but have you considered just contracting with a lawn service?  We had a similar issue, huge yard was taking a ton of time to maintain and I needed to invest in new equipment.  Didnít want to make permanent changes due to resale issues, and just the up front costs. Got a quote from a couple mowing places and it was surprisingly affordable and so, so easy. I hate that my lawn is a drain every month, but it really has been the best option. I am guessing a lawn that size could be mowed professionally for several years before you get into the amount of costs and hassle of these other options. 

jpdx

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2019, 12:45:04 AM »
My HOA specifically says you have to keep grass under 10 inches.

I'd move.

former player

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2019, 03:46:54 AM »
I know this isnít what you want to here, but have you considered just contracting with a lawn service?  We had a similar issue, huge yard was taking a ton of time to maintain and I needed to invest in new equipment.  Didnít want to make permanent changes due to resale issues, and just the up front costs. Got a quote from a couple mowing places and it was surprisingly affordable and so, so easy. I hate that my lawn is a drain every month, but it really has been the best option. I am guessing a lawn that size could be mowed professionally for several years before you get into the amount of costs and hassle of these other options.
I agree with this.  It's a dirty little secret that city dwellers don't understand that land doesn't look after itself unless you've gone completely back to whatever nature thinks are the right things to be growing there: there's a reason why agriculture is hard and unrelenting work, and a garden is agriculture on a small scale.  Grass is in fact the least troublesome thing you could be growing, and if someone else will mow it for a reasonable fee then be grateful and pay.

Sibley

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2019, 07:57:58 AM »
As a followup to my plan, since it might help someone: I just bought 5lbs of microclover seeds online for about $80. Really shop around, because prices were all over the place. I plan to dethatch the lawn and seed with the clover in September-ish. It'll hopefully germinate and grow just a bit this year, but my experience so far is that clover really takes off in the spring. So my yard will look like crap this year (already does), but hopefully will look better next year. I already have some white dutch clover, especially in the backyard, so between the two varieties and the grass that is there, hopefully it'll do ok.

BlueHouse

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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2019, 08:13:46 AM »
Does the yard have a fence?  If so, you could offer it as a dog park to neighbors.  You would never have to mow again. 

Lichen

  • Bristles
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Re: Best way to get rid of a lawn?
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2019, 08:17:58 AM »
As a followup to my plan, since it might help someone: I just bought 5lbs of microclover seeds online for about $80. Really shop around, because prices were all over the place. I plan to dethatch the lawn and seed with the clover in September-ish. It'll hopefully germinate and grow just a bit this year, but my experience so far is that clover really takes off in the spring. So my yard will look like crap this year (already does), but hopefully will look better next year. I already have some white dutch clover, especially in the backyard, so between the two varieties and the grass that is there, hopefully it'll do ok.

When we put in our clover, it looked better the second year, and excellent by the third or fourth year. We did overseed it each summer for the first couple of years to help it fill out, particularly in sunny areas.

I definitely advise shopping around. We found the best deal just outside city limits at a farm and feed store. Due to the nitrogen clover (a legume) puts into the soil, it's a popular living mulch.