Grow Food Not Grass

| 3/6/2017 9:29:00 AM

Tags: no till gardening, garden beds, Melissa Souza, Washington,


Spring is inching ever so close, and soon the sweet hum of lawnmowers will fill the air. A while back I read a study on the website that stated 40.5 billion American acres are devoted to residential lawns. According to this study residential lawn care is a 2.2 billion dollar industry. That got me thinking, where did this love affair come from to have the perfect green outdoor carpet? What good is a lawn really? What if every family devoted even a small portion of their lawn to growing food?

We decided that we wanted to cut out some of our own useless lawn, and grow something worth growing. Our side yard gets morning, and afternoon sun, and then is shaded by the house in the late afternoon when the sun is really hot. We felt it would be the perfect place to expand our organic food growing venture.

Since these new garden beds were going to be right in the middle of our yard we wanted them to be uniform, and attractive. We chose 10x20 foot beds since we wanted to still be able to weed, water, and plant without walking all over the produce that will be growing in them. The space between the beds is 4 feet, which is the perfect distance for our riding lawn mower. The edges can be maintained easily with a weed wacker.

The number one concern was the grass growing up through the beds. It was a possibility to lay cardboard down over the grass, and build up the compost from there, but we wanted straight borders, and did not want to wait a long time for the cardboard to break down. Using string and stakes we traced out the borders for each bed, and spray painted lines to follow when edging each one out. Using an edger, and some good old fashion hard work we etched out all the borders.

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