Our Native Landscape Story (Part 5): Smothering Grass

This is Part 5 of Our Native Landscape Story.

Each of the posts in this series has showcased sections of our yard and what we've done in each section including before and after photos.

Part 1 and Part 2: Removing Impervious Surfaces
Part 3: Removing Stone Mulch
Part 4: Removing Invasive Species and Smothering Grass

This post will highlight how we smothered the lawn to create native plantings.

As I mentioned in Part 4, the lawn that we inherited from the previous homeowner was dominated by Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea). The best approach was to smother the lawn with paper and mulch.
Read an earlier post about smothering grass.

Here is the before photo. A red pine in the foreground and in the background (trunk barely visible) is a large white oak.

We smothered this area in the fall, again taking advantage of the leaves that had fallen. We spread those on top of the lawn, added paper and mulched it with 3-4 inches of mulch. 

We used free wood mulch from our City to create the paths but ordered the other mulch which was more finely shredded and packed down better.

When smothering Creeping Charlie, you have to make sure you overlap the paper at least 4 inches so it doesn't creep through.
This photo was taken in the early spring the year after it was planted.
We started to add woody plants the following fall. The native shrubs added here were Snowberry, Cranberry Viburnum, American Hazelnut, Chokeberry, and Witch Hazel. Also an Ironwood tree.
This photo was taken in June 2010. 

Native perennials added were Downy Yellow and Common Blue Violets, Zig Zag Goldenrod, Meadow Rue, Dwarf Crested Iris, Wild Ginger and False Solomon's Seal.
This is the before view from the top of the walkway.
Early Spring
Late June 2010