"Mow no Mo'!", or "How to remove your lawn, reduce your water bill, and get paid for it, too"

By Kathy Kramer
Friday March 14, 2014 - 12:53:00 PM

Dixie Finley had had enough of watering her lawn, and, as a long-time observer of the natural world (she is an expert animal tracker) she knew her turf didn't provide habitat for wildlife. So it was with pleasure on a fall morning in 2012 that she welcomed the group of thirty shovel-bearing Mow no Mo'! participants who arrived at her home in Livermore.

This mixed group, comprised of everything from first-time homeowners to senior citizens, and everything in between, worked in Dixie's front garden, trenching along her driveway and sidewalk, laying out cardboard, spreading compost, and shoveling a large pile of woodchips. A few hours after the group arrived, her lawn was gone.  

With design help from Kat Weiss of Kat Weiss Landscape Design, and a nearly $500 rebate from her water district, Dixie purchased a variety of native plants, including California lilac, manzanita, and sages, coral bells, and seaside daisies.  

"I'm just thrilled," she said, looking fondly at the native plants in her garden. "I love to sit out in the front garden, watching the birds. It's to peaceful." Dixie's water bill now hovers around $30 a month. She is "captivated" by the beauty of her native plant garden, and delighted with the native bees, butterflies, and birds it attracts.  

Michael Johnson, a fly fisherman, felt he was using too much water on his lawn. "I want to leave the water for the fish, and plant natives that will provide food, shelter, and nesting areas for wildlife. I attended a "Mow no Mo'!" workshop last year, and I'm confident that sheet mulching is the way to go," he said. 

Michael's front garden in Lafayette is the venue for the upcoming "Mow no Mo'!" workshop, which will take place on Saturday, March 29, from 10-3. "Not only will we be using a lot less water once the lawn is gone, but we'll be receiving a significant rebate from EBMUD for removing the grass," said Michael. 

“Mow no Mo’!” or “How to remove your lawn” 

$30. Limit 30 participants.
Saturday, March 29, 10:00 – 3:00 Lafayette 

More on Workshop #3 

Are you tired of mowing and edging your lawn, or for paying to have that done for you? Wouldn’t it be great to save money on your water bill? Wish you could quit with the herbicides? Would you like to have a beautiful, water-conserving garden that attracts wildlife? If so, “Mow no Mo!” is the workshop for you. 

In this hands-on workshop you’ll get information on how to remove your lawn, select native plants, and design a water-conserving, pesticide-free garden that attracts wildlife. Most importantly, you’ll have the hands-on experience of sheet-mulching a lawn, and you’ll depart confident that you can do this at home. 

We’ll meet at a Lafayette garden that currently has a lawn, but won’t when we are through with it! If you have them, bring a labeled long-handled shovel and rake, and gardening gloves, as we will be sheet mulching—cutting back turf, shoveling compost, laying cardboard, and spreading woodchips. We’ll work here until everyone has had a chance to try everything. 

Bring a lunch to enjoy while you get your sheet-mulching questions answered. We’ll talk about how to select native plants and where to purchase them, provide you with a list of sheet-mulching resources, and let you know how you can get rebates from your local water district for removing your lawn. You’ll leave this workshop ready to sheet-mulch your own lawn away! 

What past participants said: 

“This was a fabulous workshop and it was so useful to actually take part in the sheetmulching process. There is nothing better than the hands-on experience. Thank you so much, a really enjoyable day.” 

“This was great. I have read many articles on sheet mulching, but until you experience the entire process up front and personal, you just don’t get it. Thank you.” 

“The process of learning how to sheet mulch was great. We are confident that we can complete our project and do it well.” 

“Hands-on is a great way to learn!” 


Register at http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/select-tours 



Mow no Mo’!” or “How to remove your lawn, save water, and get paid for it, too” 

What: In this hands-on workshop you'll learn how to remove your lawn and select drought-tolerant plants, and find out how to receive a lawn-removal rebate from your water district 

When: 10:00-3:00, Saturday, March 29, 2014 

Where: Lafayette 

Cost: $30. Preregistration is required, at http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/select-tours.  

More: This workshop is coordinated by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour.