Front Yard Landscaping Ideas with Mulch
Grass is tough. Because it's brown most of the year and seemingly barely making it, that it would be easy to kill. Maybe put some mulch on top, and then some new plants. Well, you're wrong. St. Augustine grass, which made up my front lawn, is a fearsome foe. Just throwing mulch on top of it will make it come back stronger next spring.
So I needed to get tough too. My weapon: cardboard boxes and mulch. I'd lay cardboard sheets like shingles, then lay mulch on top of that, smothering the grass for months.
Why the cardboard? Couldn't you just use mulch? Well, No. My evidence? I have two neighbors who thought what I was doing looked like a good idea. They decided not to use cardboard because it was "time-consuming". So, they dumped mulch on their lawns, and within months, the moisture held in by the mulch caused the grass to grow faster than ever! To make matters worse, it comes back with lots of runners and in ugly clumps.
Why not plastic sheeting? Some people told me to use landscape fabric or plastic sheeting to bake the grass, and then remove it or roto-till it into the soil. This works, but I didn't want to buy a 1000 sq ft of plastic and then throw it away. Besides, cardboard is free.
Why not newspaper? I read that layers of newspaper work, so I started with that. And it does work, but it blows around in the wind and gets torn up when you walk on it. Also, I found it easier to get hold of large cardboard supplies than big piles of newspaper.