Monthly Archives: October 2013

Should You Consider Reducing Your Lawn?

A lawn is a wonderful thing to have, but not everyone has time to maintain one properly. Sure, you could hire a professional to tend it, but what if you just don’t want the burden anymore. What if you just want one less thing to worry about? If you find yourself in such a state, you should know that reducing or even eliminating your lawn is possible. Why have so many people reduced their lawns? Well, doing so reduces water consumption dramatically, meaning that there’s more to go around in a given community. It also eliminates the usage of potentially harmful pesticides and air pollution caused by mowers and other similar tools. Eventually, your former yard will give itself over to nature and new opportunities will develop as a result. The biodiversity of the area will likely increase fairly dramatically. Indeed, there are plenty of societal benefits to reducing your lawn, but the reason most commonly cited is this: it will save you time and effort. It will allow you more freedom. Regardless, reducing your lawn certainly has its pros, but how does one go about doing it in the first place?

  • Sod Cutting: Most effective if you want to remove smaller areas of your lawn, sod cutting is the process of simply removing sod with a tool, generally a spade, one bit at a time. If you have more ground to cover consider renting a sod cutter, which will perform the job more efficiently at a higher cost. After you’ve removed a good deal of sod, cover it with a sheet of black plastic and wait for it to break down to create fertilizer. In the meantime, you now have a freshly sodded area just waiting to be transformed.
  • Rototilling:  Perhaps the quickest treatment of all, even this one requires a good amount of effort. Begin by doing a deep tilling to remove as many plant systems as possible. Then follow up the new two weeks, doing shallower tilings and destroying any small plants which may have had time to develop. Eventually, the soil will be ready.
  • Black Plastic: Place a piece of black plastic over the area of lawn you wish remove and weigh it down until it’s firmly in place. Soon, the plants beneath the bag will begin to die. After six months has passed, remove the plastic and turn the soil, breaking it up with a hoe. This is an extremely effective method, but it does take a very long time and it leaves soil completely barren and useless without intervention.
  • Sheet Composting: You’ll need plenty of compost to pull this process off. You’ll also need 4-6 months. Begin by placing a later of nitrogen-based fertilizer (grass clippings will do nicely) beneath a layer of cardboard or newspaper (to keep weeds down) beneath a layer of mulch (leaves, sawdust, manure, compost or wood chips all work well). After a few months the plant life will have suffocated but, unlike with the black plastic method, the soil will need no rejuvenation and new life will be able to develop there immediately.