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From Lawn to Legumes

Save money and improve your diet by converting a portion of your lawn into a productive vegetable garden.

Start by removing the existing lawn. A sod cutter is a quick method for converting lawn to garden.

I like to start small. This is a good strategy for any busy or new gardeners and families with young children and pets.

Next add some organic matter like peat moss, compost or aged manure to improve the drainage in clay soil. It also increases sandy and gravelly soils ability to hold moisture.

I like to use an activated compost made of worm castings, landscape trimmings, green sand and other organic materials. Mix several inches of this or other organic matter and a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer into the top 6 to 8 inches of the existing soil.

Rake the surface smooth and create a slight crown in the center of the bed. Now were ready to get started planting.

A bit more information: No sod cutter available for removing the existing lawn? Try one of these eco-friendly methods of killing the grass before starting your garden. Edge the area you are converting to garden. Cover with plastic for several weeks to kill the sod. Clear plastic will "cook" the lawn while black plastic starves the grass by blocking the sunlight. Or use newspaper and quality topsoil to create a raised bed. Edge the garden, mow the grass short and cover with several layers of newspaper. Add 6 to 8 inches of quality topsoil over the newspaper and start planting.


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