Step-By-Step: How to Turn Your Lawn Into a Garden

Sheet mulching is a simple and easy way to turn your old lawn into a new garden! Here’s how to do it, step-by-step…

Turning your lawn into a garden is a great way to make more efficient use of your green space, but it can be a lot of work if you are breaking new ground, which can deter wanna-be gardeners from trying it.

Forget tearing up sod, renting a tiller, and picking rocks – instead, use this super simple sheet-mulching method to create a new garden where there was only grass before!

Fall is a great time to use this method, as your new garden space will then be ready for planting next spring. Earthworms and soil microbes will work through the next few months to break down the organic matter, and prepare your new garden spot for spring and summer crops.

Whether you’re looking to convert part of your lawn to a new garden, or expand your existing garden into a previously unused area, here is the simplest way to do it:

Step 1.
Mark the perimeter of the new bed, then scalp the grass within the outline with a lawn mower as short as possible.

Step 2.
Spread a 2-inch layer of compost or composted manure over the bed…. Moisten the compost well.

Step 3.
Cover the compost with overlapping pieces of cardboard to smother the underlying vegetation and prevent light from reaching any weed seeds. Soak the cardboard with water.

Step 4.
Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the cardboard and top it with up to 18 inches of mixed organic material (grass clippings, leaves, straw, seaweed, garden debris, farmyard manure).

Step 5.
Include vegetable and fruit scraps and coffee grounds from the kitchen in the layers of organic matter. Moisten these layers.

Step 6.
For vegetable beds, finish with 2 to 3 inches of straw or compost….

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Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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