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Success Stories

Rethinking the Lawn

Caroline Harris is gung-ho about sheet mulching and she’s not shy about knocking on her neighbor’s door with a smile on her face, a pile of cardboard in her arms, and a witty comment on the tip of her lips. After seeing a speaker demonstrate sheet mulching at a Bay-Friendly nursery talk, Caroline decided to give it a try – and also ended up helping many of her neighbors convert their lawns using this technique.

She replaced her lawn with a mix of Mediterranean plants that don’t need a lot of water to stand up to the full sun and hot days in Fremont. Splashes of color from the self seeding valerian and California poppies complement her modern looking home. Tall shrubs in the side yard provide refuge for shade loving plants and hot humans, while an extremely drought tolerant cactus garden soaks up the rays in the sunniest spot in the back. She had so much fun rethinking her lawn that she started knocking on her neighbors’ doors offering to help them do the same.

Caroline is among many Bay Area gardeners who have replaced their lawns with a healthy garden that works better for them. By using Bay-Friendly practices, they conserve water, natural resources and prevent pollution. And with the right techniques such as sheet mulching, replacing your lawn doesn’t require hours and hours of digging to remove the grass; you can basically plant directly on top of your old lawn after you sheet mulch.