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From Lawn to Lunch
To convert your sunny lawn to a lunch box, remove turf in long, 18-inch strips. Cut the edges of each strip with a sharp-bladed edging tool. While one partner rolls up the grass like a jellyroll, another slices through grass roots with the edging tool. Remove about an inch of rooty soil with the top growth. When the roll gets heavy, slice it off and load it in a wheelbarrow.
To compost the strips, layer green sides together, then brown sides together, ending brown-side-up. Cover the stack with soil and mulch (straw, chopped leaves, or shredded bark) and let stand for 10-12 months.
Make beds 10 to 20 feet long and six to eight feet wide (so you can reach the center from each side). Mulch three to four-foot wide paths between beds (grass left in the path will infiltrate your beds) to accommodate a wheelbarrow. Now fork over the soil strips and remove as many roots as possible. Aerate beds with a garden fork, sinking it as evenly and deeply as possible.
Spread on two or three inches of compost, then set plants about six inches apart, in staggered rows. Top with a mulch containing corn gluten, a high-nitrogen protein that prevents weed seeds from germinating.
—Ann Lovejoy is author of Ann Lovejoy’s Organic Garden Design School (A Rodale Organic Gardening Book, 2004) and many other books.
Look who wants to TransFarm the White House lawn…
|Sarah van Gelder, Anne Lovejoy, Kim Nochi, and Heather Purser wrote pieces for this article as part of Food for Everyone, the Spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Sarah is the Executive Editor of YES! Magazine.|