Giving Up On Grass

The year we got so tired of struggling with our front lawn that we tore it all out was a life changing one.  When we gave up grass, we gained so much more. Living next to a protected wetland we had a mossy and muddy front lawn.  The uses were limited and it wasn't pretty.  We decided to pull up all the lawn and put in a garden.  It was a scary move and we hoped it wouldn't be the eyesore of the neighborhood, but figured it had to be better than a mossy lawn. 

 

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/tearoutlawn

The first step was to cut the sod into manageable pieces and haul it out leaving nothing but dirt. 

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/tearoutlawn2

It already looked better. And BIGGER! And that's important when you live on a small city lot.

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/gardenfence

A cute garden fence painted to match the trim on our house was a perfect addition to keep critters out and little garden helpers in.

 

parsnipandpaisley/givingupgrass/gardenboxes

We laid weed barrier over all the dirt and built garden boxes. We filled the boxes with a mixture of local soil, organic fertilizer, and peat moss. We brought in a few truckloads of gravel to cover the rest of the yard. This made the yard easy to maintain and I think it looks pretty good.

 

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/planting

Planting the seeds and watching them grow were the best parts of this project.

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/playingingarden

The front yard actually gets used year round now. The boys can play and we can garden together. 

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/frontyardgarden

We didn't have neighbors upset at us after all.  We actually received compliments.  Visitors from around the neighborhood came to see what we were growing. We even take requests, so we can grow some favorites to share each year.

Raspberries, strawberries, and peas fresh from the garden.

Raspberries, strawberries, and peas fresh from the garden.

With my super-speedy project-loving husband on the job, this yard makeover took us about two weeks.

For our family, changing our front yard into a garden was the best move.  Year after year we are able to plant our own fruits and vegetables.  Our experiments don't always work out-we don't seem to have a long enough growing season for watermelon and cantaloupe- but now we know what we are good at and we know what we like. I love growing tomatoes and peppers for homemade salsa.  We've grown some pretty big pumpkins too! 

parsnipsandpaisley/givingupgrass/pumpkin

My boys are much more likely to try a new vegetable if they grew it themselves.  It could be a coincidence, but my youngest, who grew up with a garden for most of his life, is my best veggie eater. 

Sometimes stepping away from conventional thinking can really pay off. What ways have you changed your yard to fit your lifestyle? 

-Mary