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Frontyard grass removal and native plant order

After going back and forth about whether or not to RoundUp, we hired a crew to dig up our sod, deciding the risks inherent in disturbing our soil and the probable longer upcoming weed battle was worth it over using herbicides. Part of the decision was influenced by the fact we have very little weeds and grass coming up out of our fruit tree mounds.

We visited Sepulveda Building Materials yesterday and chose some rocks. We also thought we’d ordered our gravel, smaller rocks etc but they didn’t get put on the invoice (they were closing, we didn’t want to keep them any later, so dashed off without going over the receipt (even though it seemed really low) until we got in the car) so I’ll be calling Monday morning.

Anyway, a lot of our mulching will be with gravel and rocks; the rest will be with shredded redwood (‘gorilla hair’). Hopefully, with all the mulching, we’ll be able to keep up with weed control until our natives are established. I think I’ve found a source of bulk mulch (getting it by the bag just won’t work, we’d need way too many bags; as it is we probably will get around 5 cubic feet). But if anyone knows of a good source in Los Angeles that delivers, please leave a comment!

I also place my plant order with Las Pilitas — here’s the list:

Achillea millefolium rosea Island Pink x3
Achillea millefolium arenicola
Achillea millefolium californica
Arctostaphylos La Panza
Arctostaphylos manzanita_x_densiflora Austin Griffiths Manzanita
Arctostaphylos silvicola Ghostly Manzanita
Arctostaphylos pechoensis Margarita’s Joy
Arctostaphylos patula platyphylla Julian Manzanita
Asclepias fascicularis x2
Calystegia macrostegia
Diplacus aurantiacus australis Ramona
Diplacus longiflorus Topanga monkey flower
Diplacus puniceus Otay monkey flower
Eriogonum parvifolium
Eschscholzia californica maritima
Gnaphalium californicum x2
Lupinus excubitus
Monardella villosa x2
Monardella macrantha x3
Penstemon heterophyllus heterophyllus
Penstemon Margarita BOP x2
Penstemon spectabilis : x2
Salvia Celestial Blue
Salvia clevelandii Alpine Cleveland sage
Salvia Gracias
Zauschneria californica Catalina x2
Zauschneria californica Ghostly Red x2

The plants should be shipped Monday so we’re planning on planting them next weekend. The rocks etc are going to be delivered next Saturday morning; I’m hoping to arrange for mulch by then as well. (Also, the same crew will be coming by to remove the bird of paradise, hibiscus and the other shrubs Saturday.)

3 comments… add one
  • faboo August 19, 2007, 3:30 pm

    Looks like we have a lot of the same tastes and interests. I’ve also gone native on my plantings, though we haven’t touched the front yard yet. Can you tell me the name of the company that dug up your grass? We’ve been going round and round with getting rid of the grass. I want it gone, but I don’t want to use chemicals!

  • Steph August 19, 2007, 3:52 pm

    Hi — our housekeeper had a friend, he and a friend of his did it — can’t actually recommend them b/c in hindsight they really didn’t dig enough out, my husband and I have since dug a lot out.

    It’s a toss up between using Round Up (which unfortunately we’ve ended up doing in small areas) and destroying the top layer of the soil when you dig out the grass.

    If you have patience (which I obviously lack) you can do the lasagna thing where you pile a bunch of newspaper and/or black plastic etc on top of the grass, add mulch on top of that, and let it cook the grass to death. Probably the most environmently sound way, and if you used plastic you could always remove it after several months — the newspaper will just compost.

  • faboo August 20, 2007, 11:35 am

    Thanks…I took lack patience and in hindsight I should have done the newspaper/plastic thing back in April or May. Wish me luck on my search to find someone who is not me to get rid of my grass.

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