Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

August 3, 2008

Liberate Your Lawn - Preparation & Planning

Being inspired again by the good folks at Freedom Gardens (PTF) We've been planning to tear out, or "Liberate" some more of our lawn. This is something that we came up with earlier in the year, not long after we put in the fence, and was actually A~'s idea for the most part.
It's something that I can totally get behind, and would no doubt have suggested, but I sometimes feel like "my garden" is slowly taking over the whole back yard, (I know, that's a bad thing because?) and I didn't want to make a play for any more space just yet. But hey, she wants more space for planting a traditional potato bed and other storage veggies and who am I to argue.
Below is one picture of what I'm talking about. This is the side yard of our house on the south side. It's in a place that gets pretty much full sun all day long, is out of the way for the most part and has access to both timed irrigation as well as a hose bib to keep things growing. You can also see that it is sloped. Not a problem. A challenge, but not a problem. Hey, this blog is about going from possibility to reality right? You can see that the lawn has been dying off in this area already. This is because when we installed the fence posts, we broke one of the sprinkler lines in a couple of places. Of course it's not a problem at this point because we WANT the grass to die. You'll also notice all the urbanite in the background if you're paying attention. This is the same stuff that we used to landscape around our house and have really grown fond of.
Below is another area that we have that runs along our fence on the south side of the yard. This will also be liberated during the process. We'll be lining the edge of the fence with another 3 foot wide bed, but unfortunately will have to remove the fruit trees that we have there. I know, please don't heckle me for that. I don't necessarily want to pull the trees, but they are full dwarf varieties and give so little fruit every year, that they're not really worth the effort. This year, I think between the two cherry trees we netted about 12 cherries. And that was up from last year! We just think that the space will be better served as an extension to our garden beds.
Take a look at that shadow along the edge of the fence line. It's there all summer. Hmm, could be a good micro-climate for head lettuce through the summer huh?
It'll be great to have this extra bedding area for next year. I haven't measured it out yet, but it should nearly double our current garden size, maybe closer to another 3/4, I'll get back to you on that one later.
I'll make sure to post again later this week with an update to the work that we're doing and also with the plans as they develop. Anyone else Liberating they're yards? Any suggestions to more easily remove the sod?
Hope you all had a great weekend!


ilex said...

You could have a stunningly productive garden with all that space. I look forward to seeing the transformation.

silverstarsanctuary said...

We are going to liberate the rest of our front yard for next year. I think we will wait till Spring. When we got rid of the grass at our old house we covered it I think and then rented a rototiller which was way easier than trying to dig it up.This time our neighbors have one for us to borrow so I will probably wait till the ground is wetter in the Spring (when you can damage the soil but the grass will come up easier). You can also cover it with black plastic and mulch too but you'd have to dig holes where you want to plant things. :)

Meadowwood Garden said...

My suggestion is to not remove the sod at all. Instead, construct raised beds with topsoil right on top of the sod. If the topsoil is at least 6 inches deep you have pretty much all the room you need to plant vegetables. The topsoil smothers the existing grass and weeds.

Perhaps this advice might seem odd or extreme, but it is exactly how my garden was constructed this year and I'm currently experiencing bumper crops! I purchased a good-quality topsoil, piled it on top of the grass into raised beds and planted my seeds -- it was literally THAT easy! It saved me a ton of time.

Regardless of how you prepare your beds -- good luck with the project! Converting lawnspace to foodspace is an excellent thing for anyone to do!