Killing The Lawn: Phase 1

It began innocently enough with laying out an outline of what might be nice and a promise I’d think about it for a while. Two weeks later, phase 1 is complete.

My goal was to create an excellent soil base to replace what is now pretty much cement hard clay. The previous owners used a chemical lawn service for at least a decade, that left the soil depleted and hard as a rock. Over the past four years, I’ve been amending it with compost, manure and aeration. A record drought this summer proved that none of those measures were enough to reinvigorate the lawn and the soil was still like granite.

I had several choices: use chemicals to kill (just no), or a bobcat to scrape, the grass and bring in a large amount of good soil and replant the grass, or add sod, or xeriscape. I was definitely leaning towards creating an area of low-water native plantings. But the cost of scraping a lawn and bringing in yards and yards of compost/soil was cost-prohibitive.

Then a bit of research led me to the Sheeting Method. Better soil would be achieved by killing the grass and weeds with a sealed layer of cardboard and mulch. Leaving an excellent base for native plants and bushes to replace the grass.

The next step was a hunt for cardboard.

Thanks to neighborhood apps, I was able to relieve multiple neighbors of their cardboard just before recycling day, so it was already flattened. They didn’t have to drive it to the recycling center, and I got several carloads of boxes.

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Taco Pr0n

We had another go at tacos for supper.  Mrs J says she loves tacos and says it with similar enthusiasm as when she says she loves French toast.  I believe her, and not old Mrs. Butterworth.


Bacon and eggs with toast is about as breakfast as it gets where I come from.I don’t know about you but I think a bacon egg sammich on buttered toast with yellow running all over is fine eating.Mrs J voted cheeseburgers for lunch.  I like to slice an onion into very thin slices on a mandoline, pile them in a burger sized heaps and let them caramelize with a beef patty on top to help steam the meat.I shaved some sharp cheddar over the onions and added a bit of American cheese to help the cheddar melt right.  Cheeseburger!  Cheeseburger!  No chips!Actually, we do have chips but we prefer these sides.

There are those onions under the cheese but I like the texture fresh sliced onions bring to the bite.Mrs J called my attention to this Monarch pupa.  We’ll keep an eye on it.  Hoping to get a nice new butterfly out of it.

Chili Today! Chili Tomorrow!

We are fast approaching the end of patio pepper season.A pound of ground beef and a pound of chorizo, with a quart of stewed tomatoes and we are on our way.  I add beans and plenty of chili powder.First bowl of the batch.  I love the pickled peppers and cheddar for garnishes.  The Doritos are fine.I really like the fried wedges of flour tortillas for this.  Drop them into 400° oil for a few seconds and they toast up nicely, not too long or they’ll get tough.Chili mac was in the running but we decided on chili fries.  More pickled peppers plus a generous scattering of the fermented chilies.  I feared the fermented chilies were going to be very hot.  They are not.