By converting your lawn into a garden, you’ll save water and can create a beautiful habitat.  Plus, there are rebate programs available to help with the process! Most lawn rebate programs require an application before starting the lawn conversion process, so be sure check on program requirements before the project is underway.


Rebate Information


Eligible Contra Costa Waster District (CCWD) customers can apply for the District’s “Lawn to Garden Rebate Program” for up to $1 per square foot of lawn removed and replaced (up to a maximum of $1,000 per household).  Participants can also receive landscape design assistance for $150 to develop a basic plan for the site.  Once the lawn conversion is complete and the finished project approved, CCWD offers reimbursement for the design consultation fee in addition to the rebate check.  Find out more:


East Bay Municipal Utility District customers may also apply for a lawn conversion rebate for up to $2,500.  EBMUD’s website has project resources including lists of qualifying plants and coupons for local nurseries.  Find out more:


The state also offers a “Turf Replacement Rebate” for up to $2 per square foot of converted lawn.  Read more:


Converting Your Lawn


Sheet mulching is a great way to remove one’s lawn naturally, without extensive physical labor. There are various resources and tutorials online, but here’s a basic overview of the sheet-mulching process:


-First, mow the grass so it’s level and short, and then water the ground to moisten the top layer of soil beneath the grass.

-Next, evenly distribute a ~1 inch layer of compost across the grass. Note: check CCWD’s website for coupons to purchase compost from a local store.

-Then lay cardboard over the entire area (this acts as a weed barrier).  You can seek old cardboard boxes from friends and family (or check at local stores), and flatten it before laying it out over the area, or you can purchase recycled cardboard in large rolls. When you install the cardboard, overlap the pieces so light can’t sneak through to the grass.  You can wet the cardboard as you go to keep it from moving out of place.

-Finally, cover the cardboard with a layer of mulch (~3 inches).  Some sites recommend adding another layer of compost over the cardboard before the mulch.  Once again, before purchasing the mulch be sure to check CCWD’s site for coupons.

-You can then leave it to decompose for about a month (or more) before moving on to planting or can get started right away by cutting holes through the cardboard. 


If you recently completed a lawn conversion and have any tips, please let us know in the comments!

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