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Turning Lawn into Garden

I want to convert several areas of my lawn to gardens.  I do not want to use any chemicals to kill the lawn.  Do you have any suggestions for making this job easier?

With or without chemicals creating beds is always a big job.  Start by cutting an edge around the bed.  Use an edger or shovel to cut through the existing grass.   Remove the sod with a sod cutter or shovel.  You can use this sod to patch bare areas in the lawn or add it to the compost pile.  If it's a large area, you may want to consider renting a power sod cutter or hiring a professional to come in and remove the sod and prepare the soil for you.  Once the sod is gone add several inches of organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or aged manure into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil.  Or create a raised bed.  Edge the bed, cut the grass short and cover the area with 3 to 10 sheet layer of newspapers.  Cover the newspaper with 6 inches or more of well-drained blended topsoil. The newspaper helps suppress the re-growth of grass and weeds through the added topsoil.  If the existing soil is suitable for planting you can cover the newspaper with mulch instead of soil.  I prefer to wait a season for the grass to die and newspaper to decompose.   Once decomposed these materials improve the existing soil and planting will be much easier.  


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