As far as I see, the Tae Kim guide gets divided into 4 sections.
- Basic Grammar
- Essential Grammar
- Special Expressions
- Advanced Topics
So the question becomes, "Can I drop Tae Kim after reading the first half?"
The truth is that all 4 sections describe pretty basic grammar. You can stop at any point and start sentence mining. Looking up grammar and making targeted sentence cards with grammar targets is no different from making cards for regular vocabulary. Eventually you'll catch up.
I read and mined the entire guide, but I took breaks between sections, so it wasn't a continuous, boring process.