Transform your lawn into a flower garden in 8 weeks without digging
How to start a new garden from scratch is a question I regularly get.
"I have recently moved into a new house and want to start a garden. The ground around the house is full of grass and weeds
and I need to know how to get rid of both of them without having to dig it all up. I am unable to do heavy manual labour. Is there an easier way?
Yes there is an easier way of starting a garden without the heavy manual labour required to clear out the grass and weeds.
Even if you do dig up all the grass and weeds there is always a bit of grass that stays behind and grows again and the weed problem starts all over again.
The best way is sheet mulching as it is the way that nature does things. Cover the the ground with biodegradable
material, that will improve the soil quality in due course and kill weeds without having to dig them up or use harmful chemicals.
Gather your materials starting with a supply of newspaper, enough to cover the entire garden area you wish to plant with a layer six sheets thick.
Use only the black print pages and not the shiny inserts you normally find with newspapers, enough compost to cover the area covered by the
newspaper up to a depth of three inches and enough mulch, straw or hay, even grass clippings and dirt to cover the compost.
Flatten the weeds by trampling them down on the area you want to turn into a garden bed. It is not necessary to cut them down, just flatten them.
Before continuing water the ground thoroughly.
Then lay six sheets of newspaper over every speck of the ground. The paper will block the light and prevent the grass or any weeds from growing. Wet the paper to keep it
from blowing away while you are completing this step. Make sure the sections of newspaper overlap so that
there is no light that will attract weeds to grow through them.
Now spread at least three inches of compost over the wet newspaper and on top of that
a layer of straw or hay or even cut grass to stop the surface from drying out.
It 's now time for nature to take its course and to provide you with a ready to plant garden bed.
Nature needs about a month for the earthworms and other organisms in the soil and compost to begin decomposing the various organic items.
While they are preparing your soil you can plan your garden.
In its first year the garden is suitable for perennial plants and tubers such as potatoes which can be planted through the mulch.
As the mulch and compost breaks down over time the beds will become easier to plant with seeds.
When you start planting your plugs(small plants) use a small spade and dig holes of about three inches deep to receive your plants.
Ensure that you allow enough space to allow them to grow and spread out.
If you are in an area where frost occurs either wait until the weather starts to warm before planting or cover the plants with newspaper at night to protect them from the cold.
It's hard work but at least the plants don't die.
Gardening like most other things is easy if you know the tricks and are prepared to put in the hours.
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Page Updated 14.3.2017