No Maintenance Front Yard. No Mowing, No Fertilizer,

7 Materials
3 Months

Don’t get me wrong, this was a huge undertaking.

I wanted a maintenance free front yard.

I got estimates ranging from $5,500 to $6,800. That wasn’t happening!

I removed four inches of grass, a lot of work! I bought Lowe’s best weed mat, mat pins and 8 low growing Junipers as they are drought resistant and can tolerate our intense Florida heat, they thrive in full sun. I wanted to be certain the weeds wouldn’t grow thru overlapping mat so I bought Heavy Duty white duct tape.

Once the junipers and mat was in place I ordered 1 & 1/2 tons of 2” river rock dumped on a tarp in the street spilling onto the mat. Now comes the really hard part. Shoveled all the rock in all the crevices - still in the process of finishing the rock wall but here are the before and after photos.

Before, looks like grass but more weeds than grass. Expensive to maintain. Water is expensive in Florida. Landscaper maintenance was overpriced.

Ended up removing that black mat because the best mat has two colors, one side is black, the other side is tan which doesn’t poke thru if the rocks are shy in an area. But I put 3” of river rock over the mat

Started building my rock wall. Still not quite finished yet. I found these gorgeous rock slabs at a demo site where they were ripping down the facade made 4 trips filling up the trunk of my Camry.

Placed edging around the Junipers and duct taped the mat using 2 pkgs of mat pins 150 pins.

Filling in the front one shovel at a time.

More shoveling!

Got creative with the shapes.

Getting there

Finished shoveling then cut the xtra weed mat from the road.

Still doing the wall. It’s like a puzzle and I’m not sure if I want to use masonry glue or mortar. I’d prefer it look natural rather than cement mortar.


Lots to go, but it’s exactly what I wanted and since I did it myself, I know it was done right.

Once the wall is finished that back area will be covered with mat and Cyprus No Float mulch, it prevents the growth of weeds as it contains Eucalyptus and some type of mentholated scent.

The foundation for my wall changed as I ran out of a good base. I used bricks and staggered them creating a base using play sand and pebble

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jlnatty
    on Mar 14, 2021

    Did you rent a sod cutter from Lowe's? I don't know about in your area but where I live (SE WI) you can rent them from both Lowe's and Home Depot, and there is also an independent company that rents out lawn equipment and machines for jobs like that and jobs like lugging large stones (for large retaining wall building) around.

    • Jlnatty
      on Mar 17, 2021

      Wow, a lot of effort and work. I'm one person too and I spend my springs, summers and autumns working in my yard daily. Nothing like your project undertaking though. Thanks for posting it, and your prompt answer (just received notification of it in my email and came right here to let you know I received it).

Join the conversation

2 of 30 comments
  • Amazing Grace !
    Amazing Grace !
    on Mar 17, 2021

    Well, I used 2.5 - 3" river rocks, not the small 1" - 1-1/2m and, certainly not the pebble river rock. Nothing really rots down here ie: leaves etc. they dry up in the heat and can be blown out quite easily.

  • George
    on Mar 18, 2021

    Michael's Craft Stores. Approx quart size container of 1" diameter x 1/4" thick glass drops. Multiple colors. I had no interest in specific colors so I did not look for a source for such. Good hunting.

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