Turning Lawns into Gardens

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Communities throughout the US have started turning their lawns into gardens, opting to plant vegetables in their lawns instead of rolling out sod or planting grass. By turning a portion of their lawns, decks or windowsills into an organic garden, more people are reconnecting with the earth and their surroundings in simple, practical ways. Also, it helps reduce pollution, improve the quality of people’s diets, increases local food security, and contributes to more beautiful surroundings.

With the amount of time we spend on our lawns, weeding, watering, fertilizing and mowing, why not put that energy into a productive garden? If you need some more help to convince you, Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, A Project by Fritz Haeg, can help. “The Edible Estates project proposes the replacement of the domestic front lawn with a highly productive edible landscape.”

Basic Instructions to make your own edible landscape:

1. Do a test on your soil to see what sort of ammendments it might need, or if it has traces of lawn chemicals.
2. Cover the grass with newspaper, and place raised beds on top, or use sod-cutter to remove existing grass, roll it up, give it away, or find a new use for it
3. If planting in existing compacted earth, use roto-tiller to loosen soil (or just turn over the existing turf and let it decompose)
4. Spread around 2-6 inches of compost
5. Till the soil again to mix in the new compost
6. Mark out a plan for your edible estate with stakes and tape
7. Plant your seedlings, starts, trees and seeds according to the planting calendar and mulch well
8. Water them in thoroughly and install soaker hoses or drip lines as necessary for irrigation
9. Install fencing as necessary to deter local animal visitors if that becomes an issue (rabbits?)


One thought on “Turning Lawns into Gardens”

  1. Cat’s are also horrible neighborhood visitors.

    We finally got our garden planted this year. This is the latest we’ve gotten it in. While raised beds are cool and all we like ours in back. It keeps neighbor kids out of the plants and doesn’t interfere with neighborhood astetics. We do and have had edibles in front though. We find having vegetables and fruits in front gets better reception if you make it part of the landscape. We still get comments on the look of our strawberries spilling out of the barrel in our front yard. We just like the berries though, not necesarilly the look. Hey, there’s a post for you. How to have things like clothes lines and front yard vegetables without plummeting your neighbors house value.

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