Monday, April 22, 2013

Starting New Beds - The Smothering Approach

I hired a landscaper to create this new garden bed in the front lawn. He sprayed the grass with RoundUp, dug a border around the bed and put down a lot of pine straw. He still has had to spray subsequently with RoundUp a couple more times to take care of grass that would not die. (That's the greatest irony, right? The grass won't grow where I want it - notice the bare spots outside the bed. But it invades where it's not wanted.) The plants here include daffodils, moss phlox (Phlox subulata), Hypericum (the little shrubs leafing out uphill from the daffodils), one Appalachian Redbud and three Eastern Red Cedars (not cedars actually, but Juniperus virginiana)

I don't have any imminent plans to start new garden beds (I'm still busy trying to figure out the best solutions for the beds I've already got), but I also have big dreams of a lawnless yard filled with trees and beds of flowers and vegetables. does one go about transforming a lawn into garden beds?

I researched this question a few weeks ago and came upon a number of sites that suggest the easiest and best approach is to smother your yard under a combination of newspaper, cardboard, soil and/or mulch.

Here are some of the sources I consulted:

- Washington State University

- Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants

- A Way to Garden

What do you think of this method? Have you tried it? Or do you have some other method of starting new garden beds?