(This one's for you, Sabrina!)
Sheet mulching is touted as one of the easiest ways to reduce weeds in your yard or to get rid of a water-hungry lawn and replace it with something more drought-tolerant. (Solarization is a more extreme method that can rid an area of many fungal diseases, as well as weeds.)
To sheet mulch an area, trim any current plant growth to the lowest possible height, water the area (to provide for soil microbes) and then cover the area completely with a 4" layer of wood chips.
We used to urge people to cover the area with layers of newspaper or cardboard, but then we learned that those materials attract voles and termites. Those layers also interfere with evaporation, percolation, and gas exchanges. Your local tree trimmer will be happy top give you a truckload of fresh wood chips, perfect for blocking weeds and protecting your soil.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!