With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, the traditional front lawn finds itself under serious scrutiny. Evergreen Nursery and other organizations have teamed up to find alternatives just as attractive – if not more so – than a water-guzzling expanse of grass.

To that end we’re spreading the benefits of ‘sheet mulching’ around. This method provides a quick, fresh start to a new plan for the yard, whether it’s putting in a pool or creating a lush landscape that demands very little in the way of care or water.

Sheet mulching involves mowing the lawn and weeds to the ground, adding layers of soil amendments and weed barriers (often paper or cardboard) and other organic materials to a given area. To plant, just punch an opening in the paper layer, adding a little compost with the plant.

This method curbs outdoor water use, doesn’t involve removing existing turf and enriches the soil; no wonder it’s leading the way to a new look for California suburbs.

In the past year Evergreen Nursery partnered with StopWaste.org on large projects in Castro Valley and San Lorenzo that often include community ‘sheet mulch parties.’ Evergreen provided products, plants and educational workshops. We also collaborated with StopWaste.org’s Bay Friendly Landscaping & Gardening program in developing a sheet mulch kit available for delivery from the nursery. With East Bay Municipal Utility District offering rebates for most lawn conversions and irrigation projects, there’s more reason than ever to make the switch!

Sheet mulching:

  • Saves lots of water: Like a sponge, organic matter soaks up and retains moisture, reducing runoff in the process
  • Is easier; no need to take out existing turf and send it to the landfill
  • Suppresses weeds
  • Is safe for kids & pets
  • Provides instant – often one-day – gratification
  • Is great for vegetable gardens
  • Creates an environment where plants thrive by encouraging soil-building earthworms and other organisms found to break down pollutants and improve water quality.
  • Is climate friendly: Reduces greenhouse gases by 53 tons per acre

Sheet Mulch Kits: In partnership with Waste Management and StopWaste.Org, Evergreen has put together a sheet mulch kit available for delivery from the nursery. Each package covers 200 square feet and includes a double layer of cardboard, a one-inch layer of compost and three inches of natural recycled wood mulch. With a full landscaping department, Evergreen can come in and complete the task for or with you! $120 plus delivery.