From Grass to Garden: 5 Steps to Turn Your Lawn Into a Lush Garden

comments (0) June 26th, 2015

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jgthegardener jgthegardener, member
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Looking for a little less green space and a little more garden space? Turning your lawn into a garden can be an easy weekend project that will benefit you for years to come. While it may seem like an overwhelming task, creating your perfect lush garden can be accomplished in just a few simple steps.


1. Test Your Soil

Good soil is a major part of having a healthy garden. Testing the pH of your soil and making sure no contaminants have reached your soil will be the first step toward turning your grass into the lush garden of your dreams.


2. Make a Plan

The actual amount of effort required will vary depending on how you want to scale your garden. There are several different options for making your lawn into a lush space:

     If all you want are some ornamentals like a few flowers scattered around, the time it takes to finish this project will be significantly reduced.

     If you plan to go full out and turn all of your lawn into a garden for edible plants, each step of this process will be important for success.

     For the best chance at a successful garden, make sure what you want to plant is appropriate for your hardiness zone.

     Make sure you know where utility lines are located before any digging begins.


3. Select a Site

Unless you plan to turn every inch of your yard into a garden, finding the right spot is the next step:

     You want to look for areas that get full sun since this is what most plants prefer, plus you can always add shade later, which is much easier than adding more sun.

     Make sure the ground is level. Look for signs of water pooling and assess the runoff situation of that spot. Avoid any areas with large dips or near gutters since this will almost certainly lead to your garden becoming waterlogged.

     Keep your garden close to your house. Having it near makes you more likely to take care of it, making your garden healthy and beautiful. Having plants by the kitchen door will provide easy access to fresh food and herbs, and be a lovely sight.

     Place your garden near a water source. If you have to make several trips to water your plants, the probability of your garden surviving drops drastically.


4. Deal With Your Grass

There are several methods for turning your lawn into a garden. The best option for you will depend on the size of your lawn and the garden you have planned.

     In a small enough area, the best way to deal with the grass may be not dealing with it at all: Lay 2 inches of moist compost wherever you want your garden, to encourage microbial activity. Cover the compost with overlapping pieces of cardboard or newspaper, making sure there are no gaps. The cardboard will kill grass and weeds by smothering, and keeping sunlight from reaching them also prevents weed seeds from ever germinating.

Soak the layer of cardboard and then cover with 2 more inches of compost and several inches of organic matter such as grass clippings, leaves, garden debris or fruit and vegetable scraps. Finish the garden area with more compost or soil. For the first year, this method may be best suited to plants with more shallow roots. 

     Using raised garden beds can help you avoid dealing with your lawn, though this method will work best for small gardens since the beds may be space-consuming.

     If you have a large area and plan on tilling your lawn to rip up grass, removing sod or clearing some space, using the right agriculture equipment will save you a lot of time and effort - and your back will thank you.


5. Get Planting!

Whether you choose to start from seed or get plants from nurseries, once you get to this step it's time to start your garden. 

     Know when the growing season in your hardiness zone begins.

     Place your plants in a way that is the most beneficial. Once you know what you are going to plant, consider looking into companion planting to naturally repel insects.


Following these steps will have your outdoor space looking lush and fruitful in no time. Converting your lawn into a vegetable garden will not only cut down on your grocery budget but also means you can feed your family organically. You can create a truly beautiful and unique space by adding personal touches to your design, making this haven one that's all your own. 

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posted in: garden, starting a garden, organic garden, how to plant a garden, turning grass into a garden