Turning Lawn into Garden Beds With Sheet Mulch

Keeping the lawn mowed is a time consuming chore that is not high on my list of priorities. I do fret over the unkempt appearance when it’s overgrown, but it takes a lot of time and energy to keep it well-groomed. I’d much rather put that time into raising something useful like vegetables, flowers and herbs. A lawn is a lot of wasted space that could be grazing sheep or growing food and is contrary to the principles of permaculture.

So begins my journey into eliminating all the grass at the front of the house. Not only must the grass be killed, it must be replaced with good soil to support the food I hope to grow. It is a daunting task so I decided to begin sheet mulching the areas closest to the house and the water supply.
Autumn is the perfect time to make a bed or two for planting in the spring.

This instructional video demonstrates how easy sheet mulching is. Much easier than digging or tilling and it makes quite a respectable raised bed in little time. All the materials are free. We get cardboard boxes from the grocery store and from the hospital where my daughter works. If you don’t have livestock, many horse stables give manure away. It is yours for the shoveling. With fall upon us, leaves are everywhere.

Steps to Sheet Mulching
1. Mow
2. Lay down a barrier of cardboard/newspaper after removing staples and the glossy pieces
4. A layer of grass clippings or weeds
3. Pile on spoiled hay and barn sweepings
4. Add a layer of compost
5. Cover with a layer of straw or leaves
Water after each layer is added.

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Turning Lawn into Garden Beds With Sheet Mulch — 4 Comments

  1. I use a portable electric fence and let the goats “mow” the lawn…sheep would be better, but I use the tools at hand. 😉

  2. Lamanchas and Boer crosses. When the young buck kids that I am keeping become obnoxious to the doelings, I separate them and move them around the yard.