Removing half the rear yard to make room for a garden

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share the progress of my backyard garden. We recently decided to rip out nearly half the rear lawn in order to expand the Lundquist “farm”. We’ve had three raised 10′ x 4′ garden boxes for a number of years, but now we’re moving up to the major leagues by creating 500+ sq ft of space to work with. Why are we doing this? 1) This will cut down on grocery bills; 2) I’ve always felt like I don’t get much value from lawn when considering all the water it takes to keep it green; 3) While I don’t mind mowing the lawn (despite sometimes having a “parcel mullet“), having less to mow is better; 4) We’ll have food to share with friends and neighbors; 5) This will support a healthy diet.

This is the portion of lawn we’re removing as well as some in-progress shots.

I am removing this portion of rear lawn

Progress on removing sod

Progress on removing sod in the rear yard

Here is a partial view of the rear yard from our second story. The photo was taken through a window screen. Everything to the left side of the concrete median will be space for gardening.

View from upstairs (through a screen)

The finished product: Here is the final product on 4/22/12. I’ll definitely give an update once the garden is up and running.

The Lundquist farm

Replacing the front lawn? We’re also considering removing the front yard entirely and replacing it with drout-resistant plants and trees. There is actually a turf rebate program through California American Water, so I will basically get to do this for free. I’ll be honest that removing the front yard feels a bit more unconventional and odd to me, but I think we can make it really attractive with some effort (and save money and water in the process).

Do you plan to garden this year? Have you removed lawn to create space for something else? Good or bad, what do you think the impact on the resale market will be for my plans? Any suggestions for what we should grow?

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