Going Grassless

After a lot of hemming and hawing, Matthew and I have decided that we’re going to get rid of the grass in our front yard, and if it goes well and we like the result, we might get rid of the grass in our backyard, too. A lot of the homes in our North Portland neighborhood have eschewed grass in favor of gravel, cedar mulch, flower beds, bushes, and evergreen perennials, and I love the look of it. Whenever I pass a lawn-free front yard as I’m walking to the park, I am compelled to stop and admire it, no matter how many times I’ve passed the home before. Cute rock gardens! Hardy perennials! Japanese maples! No mowing! No dandelions! Yes, please.

The previous owners of our home did absolutely zero in the way of landscaping, so we have a clean slate: 1700 square feet of potential. While I should find that kind of freedom exciting, I’ve just been intimidated by it, because the sheer work required just to have an organic, weed-free yard was daunting in and of itself. However, if I lay down a carpet of anti-weed material and then put gravel and mulch on top of it, I may never have to shovel out another dandelion in my life.

Let me know if you’ve done away with grass at your home, and if you have any advice or tips!


Going Grassless — 4 Comments

  1. We’re attenpting to get rid of our grass, but it seems to be going slowly. Finding good alternatives that don’t cost a bundle is challenging. We have planted strawberries, bulbs and some (we hope) easy care perennials.

  2. I love my raised beds for food gardening with landscaping fabric and straw between them. The straw mulch looks super tidy, but is really cheap and easy. And the garden beds require some weeding, but you get food (instead of just lawn) in return.

  3. Honestly, I would rethink. When we bought our house, previous owners had installed something like this, and while it may be weed-free for awhile, eventually the weed barrier starts to break down, and millions of teeny tiny little weeds start to shoot up between the rocks. Imagine crouching out in your front yard for hours, plucking all those out from the rocks. My guess is that these things work best in the desert southwest, but not so well any place that is naturally lush and has a lot of plant life.

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