Since we moved here in 1998, we've been removing sod. Circular areas to plant trees, long swatches to plant flowers along a fence or the house, sweeping areas to connect beds leaving mowing easy. This year, our plan is to take out all the remaining sod in the back yard. The front yard will still have a shapely patch to mow (someday it will be gone) and we'll likely still have some along the alley (but we're working on removing that too). Saturday, my wonderful husband helped me lay several chunks of concrete we'd saved from a pad an old shed was on to part of the lawn for a future planting area. We went with a kidney shape to use as much of the area as possible, but allow room for the red bud tree and paths around the beds (1st photo). There are newspapers beneath each piece of concrete to smother out the grass (2nd photo). More newspaper will be placed inside the bed before soil is added and outside the bed before mulch is added. This has become my preferred way to take out the sod. Sometimes we dig the sod, but smothering works so well. It's less work and doesn't have as many weeds to deal with later. It does take more patience for some projects.