The first method of lawn removal listed on the Lawn Removal Methods: Pros and Cons sheet is neglect. I have used this method more than any other in reducing the turf-covering in my yard. And yes it does work, but as noted in the con category, it takes time, requiring a good bit of patience. The following pictures show the progression from lawn to mulch under a beautiful and highly valued coast live oak.
This evolution of the backyard began in 1998 when we moved in and continues to this day as the last patch of lawn continues to shrink. The garden has developed organically and gradually over the years. Other parts of the yard have changed more quickly. In the parkways, for example, the lawn was dug out and replaced with native plants over fewer years. The front yard lawn disappeared under a think coat of wood chips generated from tree limbs that were violently blown off the trees in the windstorm of 2011. Further posts will follow the progression of these gardens from lawn to no-lawn.
|Small patch of grass beneath coast live oak. We moved into our house in July 1998. The first|
landscape change I made was to turn off the sprinkler head that sprayed water on the base of the oak. (Feb. 1999)
|Gradually I reduced the summer water under the oak tree and allowed oak leaves to accumulate. I never dug up|
or in any way disturbed the soil beneath the oak. (Dec. 2005)
|View of oak with garage gone. (Dec. 2006)|
|A small patio of flagstones (generously given to us by our neighbors to the west) is being laid on|
a bed of sand. The oak tree is to the left in the picture. (Oct. 2011)
|A view of the back yard from the garage. (Mar. 2012)|
|The oak is doing well, liberated from both lawn and summer water. The collapsing garage has been replaced with|
a new one, relocated in the corner of the lot, and the informal flagstone patio is between the oak and the garage.
|The avocado (on the right) is no longer bound by a deck (removed in 10/2009), and the lawn in the far back has|
shrunk quite a bit as trees and shrubs have grown and encroached on it. (Feb 2015)