Using a spade or round nose shovel, dig and remove the sod and at least 1 inch of soil. Roots may provide a nice work out for you! Watch out for those irrigation lines. Consider hiring your SWAP Shop to do this work, as it is covered under the rebate if high volume irrigation is also removed!
Cover the area you would like to SWAP with thick cardboard (two layers is best). If you would like to create a raised bed look, you can import soil directly on top of the cardboard and start planting! If not, wait a few weeks for the grass to die and then dig it out.
A few days before you begin digging up the existing landscape, call 811 (or ask your SWAP Shop to do so) and tell the operator where you plan to plant your SWAP landscape. They will send a locator to mark underground utilities within a few days, free of charge!