I have seen in some sites where they talk about killing off weeds, you wet the ground there and put clear plastic sheeting over it to kill off the weeds. Otherwise, maybe layer cardboard or newspapers there? It should smother out the grass without cooking the good stuff in the soil... I have no experience with lasagne gardening, but damp cardboard on the ground attracts earthworms, which then dig tunnels to aerate the soil and leave castings which fertilize the soil. Any ammendments could be put on top of the cardboard. I think this should work?
Basically what you are wanting is a no-dig garden. It is simple to establish and is an ideal way of growing flowers and vegetables, not just over grass, but even over concrete. No dig gardening is a great way to garden without back-breaking work.
http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/no-dig-gardening.html for more information on how to go about creating such a garden.
I've never had luck with no dig. To me it seems if you don't dig the root zone up your roots will just be stunted in compacted soil. I would dig and improve a small patch to see the difference.
In my garden you could lose a shoe or sink up to your elbow in places.
For me, it is never too late to start a lasagna garden. Patience is the key.
The first year I put in a bed I just 'drill' a few holes and put in some plants so that I get some immediate satisfaction. I am putting in a garden for a friend this week.
I started a major garden about 6 years ago and planted 4 apple trees and some shrubs. Along the way I have had squash, beans, tomatoes etc. I drilled a hole wherever I wanted to plant and put a bit of compost in.
This year, 6 years later, is the first year I have dug up almost the entire lasagna bed to plant a larger number of veggies. The soil, that was a foot of sand down to a foot of clay, is now a foot of black earth, an inch or two of sand, and then clay. Since I still work full time and also don't want to spend tons of money on a ton of amendments this is the way to go for me. The earth worms and decay have done all of the really hard work for me.
Last year I simply dug a hole and buried my junk mail and kitchen compost directly in the spot and covered with dirt and leaves. This year I dug it up to plant potatoes and the only thing left of the trash was three little pieces of plastic - the rest is black earth.
The second year of my garden i experimented with putting black plastic down straight over grass and just putting plants in. It worked great but I also have super good soil. It will kill off anything in a few weeks. It also saves water. This is my third year using black plastic and we have over 700 square feet. It is great.
We became tired of plastic as it degrades and becomes unusable in a couple years. If you don't remove it it tangles up in the soil for decades. We tried cardboard but didn't like the chemicals that came in it or on it. I do use brown roll paper and bio degradable "plastic".
I do understand needing to clear the area initially. Plastic or Roundup or cardboard all work and all have residue. I'm sticking with u-bar digging and hoeing. We've a 1200 sq.ft. garden, so I hire a neighbor to u-bar and clean up in the fall. Then It's all ready, actually very nice in the spring. And best of all no rototiller, as I have a hard time with engines.
We just bought a house and want to put in a garden. But we don't want to have to dig up all the grass. We were thinking of doing lasagna gardening, but it seems like it's a little late to start this now. Or is it?? Any other suggestions of what we might do without having to turn the soil?? Thanks for your help.
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