Act Now to “Off” Your Lawn With This Easy Technique

Attractive front yard garden with no lawn, just shrubs and perennials.

This muted garden color palette of greens, white and a spot of yellow is restful and easy-care.

Are you fed up with a boring lawn? Are you inspired by neighbours’ front yard gardens that have banished their grass? Do you hesitate at the thought of the back-breaking work of digging up the sod? The good news is it doesn’t have to be hard. The secret to an easy transformation from lawn to garden is to kill your grass in place (organically) by smothering it. Do it now, before the fall rains, as the grass will be in a weakened state.  No water and light for a prolonged period will kill the grass, where it will compost into the soil. In spring it will be easy to dig, as you won’t be digging up thick grass clumps: you’ll have a clean slate of mostly bare soil. Now you can plant a new, easy-care garden of perennials and shrubs. And you won’t be waking up the neighbours in the summer with a lawn mower.

Here are the steps.

  1. Cut the lawn very short, with mower at its lowest height.
  2. Buy a plastic tarp and cover your entire lawn area.
  3. Hold it down with rocks or bricks.
  4. Find a new home for your mower.
  5. Relax and make yourself a drink, your work is finished for the year.

Not elegant, but does the job; Plastic tarp, carpet held in place with rocks will kill the grass over the winter.

The blue tarp isn’t exactly a landscaper’s dream, but you can disguise the eyesore by covering the tarp with evergreen boughs, or mulch. Or just tough it out, assuring the passersby it’s merely an ugly duckling before it turns into a swan.

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