Too Lazy to Mow
OK, I'm not really that lazy. But when we purchased this house, I quickly discovered that mowing (certain portions of) the yard was practically impossible. Except with the weed whacker.
Our answer was one promoted by Mother Earth News and many other fine folks: get rid of the grass.
In the first summer of occupancy, digging the soil was nearly impossible. Western North Carolina was in extreme drought--people were having to dig new wells, water restrictions were everywhere and the soil was adobe-like, with the occasional small, twisty little worms stuck in each clod. The solution to this is really very simple, as long as you are somewhat patient. Lay down cardboard or newspaper, hose it down to hold it down (or use landscape fabric pins) and then cover the cardboard with mulch. This conserves moisture and encourages earthworms, which prefer "cover" like mulch or old logs.
Within a year and a half, we can now put a shovel into any of these mulched beds and be assured of an earthworm sacrifice. While that's not our primary objective, it indicates the success we've had improving our soil using very simple measures. Other soil insects and organisms have contributed to the creation of topsoil by eating our mulch...I'm sure you can figure out the end result...making rich dirt that supports healthier plants and more critters.
One more step for those who can't wait: you can add annuals and small perennials to this equation. Add top soil directly on top of the cardboard or newspaper, plant, mulch, water, call it done. Make sure you add enough soil to reach the top of the rootball, unless you are planting on a steep slope, in which case you may want to be a little more patient.
So there it is. My lazy secret. Besides, mowing is so overrated.