Low Maintenance Yard Project – Lawn Replacement

19th Nov 2015

Our home is located in a mature subdivision on 1/4 acre. Now in our 70’s, we are finding the yard maintenance to be a challenge. Our first thought was to sell up and move to a patio home with a small yard. However, after looking at the options in our area we decided instead to stay put , and minimise the yard maintenance.

Here is how we decided to proceed.
We were fortunate in finding a man who had experience and an interest in this type of project. He suggested that we roughly clean up the perimeter beds and lay 2 layers of thoroughly whetted,  recycled cardboard down to act as a semi-permiable weed barrier with small openings cut around the shrubs and plantings. I then located a local source for Coarse Cedar chips and laid 3-4″ of this material on top of the cardboard .

Thick layer of Coarsly Chipped Cedar


Next was to deal with the lawn which in our moist costal climate is choked annually with moss . A de-thatching bar mounted to our mower was used to tear up the lawn and the majority of the moss removed  in preparation for re-seeding.
I had researched grass replacements and decided that White Mico – Clover was the option best .

Stone side dug down around the perimeter

Having edged the intended perimeter area with HD Professional Edging it was time to seed, as it was now October. I mixed the clover seed with finely sieved soil – 1 tablespoon of seed to 4 liters ( 1 Gal ) of soil. This was hand cast in several passes over the area to ensure an even distribution with few voids. I retained 1/3 of my seed for future over-seeding of any scant patches. Germination took about 10 days and was very good , near 100%.

Spreading the Drain Rock over the Lumber Wrap


Next , the central area. We removed soil to slope the edges down to ensue that barrier material was well covered.

Recycled lumber wrap, free from the local lumber yard, was laid as a weed barrier and was pierced by closely stabbing it with a garden fork to avoid ponding.

Lastly this was topped with 3-4″ of small drain rock, nominally 3/4″ minus.

Water feature – We had a disused water feature that I thought I could usefully recycle into a water feature for our Back Yard Beach. A large water reservoir was dug in . The pump needed a power supply, this was placed in a trench with the underground irrigation line . A support structure was made from left over concreate blocks and the waterfall set in place and then surrounded by an assortment of planter pots to hide the structure.


More to follow, check back here 🙂

And finally :





Very Satisfactory – Now we wait for Spring when the clover matures into complete coverage.
Tomt 25th Nov 2015