Compost over whole yard?
(Crosspost from Xeriscape/Southwest Board)
We are fairly new to gardening and very new to xeriscape and are now converting our Albuquerque, NM lawn to xeriscape. The grass is 99% dead after stopping watering last year and moving earth to reshape the area. We had originally planned to put down newspaper/cardboard, then compost and then mulch to kill the grass before moving forward but now that the grass is already dead, we are wondering if we should still cover the entire 55x45 area with compost or simply mix in compost at each planting site. We are planning to plant about 50% of the space and will be using mostly native plants that will eventually (theoretically) survive on only rainwater after 3-4 yrs. Given our drought, we know we will likely need to still supplement with some watering. We are converting our sprinkler to drip. The soil is very hard (we have to use a pick ax to even dig down a few inches) and the grass was definitely not thriving before we killed it. We added 10 cu yrds of sandy fill dirt doing the hardscape but that has not been mixed in everywhere yet.
We want to start off on the right foot but don't want to over do it either.