With all the dry weather we’ve been having lately, many of my clients are talking about taking out their lawns, if they haven’t done so already. Milo Mitchel Landscaping specializes in drought tolerant and native landscapes and is therefore perfectly suited to replace your lawn.

There are two main methods of replacing a lawn, and I’ve described them both below:
The first method employs a permaculture technique called sheet mulching. This consists of covering the lawn with a layer of cardboard then mulch and letting the grass turn to compost. When the grass is composted, you poke holes in the cardboard and plant, but this usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks. If you plant too soon, you end up with a lot grass coming back. The main expense of this method is the labor involved with collecting and spreading out the cardboard. It can take a couple of days for one person to collect and spead out cardboard then mulch, taking care to trench around the edges so that the cardboard doesn’t stick up. The main advantage of this method is that you recycle all of the valuable nutrients contained in the layer of sod.

The second method is more typical. This involves rolling up strips of sod and either hauling it away or advertising a free pickup for neighbors who need sod. Once the sod is removed, a load of compost is rototilled in. The main expense of this method is either hauling away the sod and or the the cost of purchasing and rototilling in compost. The load of compost costs around $200 delivered, and the rorotilling takes a half day, and we rent a big tiller for $60. With this method it is easier to plant and the plants tend to get established more quickly as the soil has been loosened for the roots. When my crew and I have done this method in the past for a typical suburban front yard, it has cost between 2 and 3 thousand dollars for the complete landscape, including all plants, as well as labor and materials associated with converting spray to drip irrigation, then mulching. Of course this depends on the size and number of plants that you choose. My estimate is that the first method could save you around 3-5 hundred dollars on installation.