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Reducing lawn for water conservation w/Jacaranda tree

I have a city-owned jacaranda tree in my front yard and St. Augustine grass. I want to reduce the grass area so that I'm not using so much water. But the tree drops loads of needles and purple blossoms everywhere. What can I do to reduce the lawn size, yet still make it easy to rake up the needles & blossoms?
Submitted by rdcorriero

Hi, Well if it were me, I'd consider using a gravel mulch under the tree that you could rake over. Yet, the gravel would allow water to seep through to the root system of the tree. Be sure to put some landscape fabric under the gravel to keep weeds from developing.

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