Digging up sod is hard. Really hard in fact, when you also include the effort to make this compacted soil into something more usable. Lasagna gardening is a way to avoid digging up the sod, though it still means bringing in soil amendments.
I started some lasagna gardens last week at our new Tuxedo place. Sure there are already plenty of garden beds that need attention, but I if am going to eventually expand the gardens I may as well do it sooner than later-- and fall it the optimal time for getting started so the beds can compost all winter.
There is nothing wrong with a lawn, but I have always been a shade gardener and am willing to put in a great deal of work to create a sunny garden, expand my learning and give me more choices for bright summer colours.
This south-facing garden is already planned to be bright summer colours: oranges, red and yellows in plentiful combination.
Having just moved cross-country we had plenty of cardboard boxes at hand. I put these down first to kill the grass and keep in the moisture which will help with decomposition and bring more earthworms into the mix. I dug the leaves up from the gutter where they were nice and moist and partly decomposed already rather than raking dry leaves into a pile. It looked like great stuff for this purpose, and all free for the taking.
It was about this point that I began to realize how much work this was and how ambitious my goals were.
It takes a lot of mulch to cover this, a lot of wheelbarrows full. I cleaned in front of my house and many neighbours' houses in both directions.
Of course they all think I am crazy.
At this point I changed my mind from turning this all into garden and decided to leave a strip of lawn down the middle so the garden can be walked through. I decided based on how much work it was (I am making a second one out front!) and how much material it would take, but in the end I think it turned out to be the right aesthetic decision as well.
Shortly after taking this picture I pulled back the material from the far end so the lawn/path would loop back to the driveway. It has now all been covered with a brown layer, a green layer and a bit of soil, but I need to purchase some compost and peat to layer in.
There just isn't enough grass clippings around for the space I am staking out.
Tomorrow I will be back at it bright and early, even with a bit of snow on the ground.
Sharing with Fertilizer Friday