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Homeowner reveals the regret he has three years after 'smothering' grass with wood chips: 'The grass started to come back'

"I love how beautiful it all is."

Dead lawn hack for a blooming garden

Photo Credit: u/stefeyboy / Reddit

One enterprising homeowner recently showed Reddit the low-effort way they turned their dead lawn into a gorgeous field of sunflowers.

The anti-lawn movement has many homeowners turning away from high-maintenance, water-guzzling grass. Instead, they embrace an incredible variety of landscaping options, including stone and gravel, native plants, and drought-friendly gardens. Companies like Yardzen can help with the transformation.

Rewilded yard with native plants
Photo Credit: u/stefeyboy / Reddit

But first, homeowners have to get rid of their grass lawns, which can be hard when the grass tries to grow back. This Redditor made it easy, though.

Their post included before-and-after photos of their front yard. In the "before" photo, the entire lawn was covered in wood chips.

"The grass was pretty much dead from summer heat," they commented. "Had two separate chip drops on it, and it was about 4-5 inches thick."

In another comment, they explained where they got all those wood chips: tree removal companies. 

"Both times I got a chip drop I just saw the truck in my neighborhood, and just asked if they could drop their load off in my driveway," they said. "They were taking down a dead/dying tree both times, so I knew I wouldn't be getting as many branches/leaves as someone who was just trimming up their yard."

The Redditor spread the wood chips over the grass, working around small saplings they wanted to keep. They then simply let the dead grass and mulch break down naturally and planted the plants they preferred, like sunflowers.

While many people who use this method to smother their lawns put down a solid layer first, like cardboard, the Redditor said they skipped that step. "I didn't lay down cardboard and didn't regret it until year three," they said in a comment.

"What happened in year three?" another user asked.

"The grass started to come back up through the mulch ... with a vengeance because the soil was so much more aerated and moist," the original poster replied.

Still, the results in the "after" photo four years later were incredible, with thick greenery and towering, grown trees. "I love how beautiful it all is. With such dimension," said a commenter. "So much better than flat grass."

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