new garden by smothering
- This topic has 7 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
- April 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm #28991AnonymousInactive
i have a circle space in the middle of a driveway. it is grass now and sunken below the driveway level by a few inches. can i smother the grass with paper/cardboard and then add soil/compost to start my garden? i guess basically planting in the new added soil. thanks for any help.April 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm #29306AnonymousInactive
Absolutely! https://awaytogarden.com/cardboard-as-mulch Read through the comments too…April 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm #29321AnonymousInactive
I have been saving chicken feed sacks all winter so I can cover the paths in my vegetable garden. I’ll lay the sacks down then cover with straw. Makes very neat pathways. Last year I was only able to surround a couple of beds, but I think I can get around most of the inner pathways this year.April 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm #29322AnonymousInactive
Wow, that’s a great idea. Wish I could have chickens! (not inside the city limits unfortunately!) We saved all the cardboard from our recent move and it’s really junking up the garage right now. Can’t wait until my raised beds are ready. Got any other ideas for making pathways? — we’ll need something that can smother the weeds and random things growing in between the beds.April 9, 2010 at 1:03 am #29327AnonymousInactive
I’ve always used cardboard and straw. It is inexpensive and effective. Works best if you flake off slices (about 2″) of straw from the bail and lay them down without breaking them apart further.April 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm #29349AnonymousInactive
Now I read if you smother grass you have to wait months to plant!
Is this true? I was going to put down then compost mulch and plant. Yes or no? PleaseApril 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm #29350AnonymousInactive
Charlie, You do need to wait a month or two. It’s worth it because it will kill everything that could interfere with your new bed. The book “The Way We Garden Now” suggests making new beds this way including putting black landscape fabric on top to increase the solar “cooking” power.April 13, 2010 at 1:26 am #29353AnonymousInactive
Most books will recommend waiting, but in my experience this is not always necessary. It probably depends what you are planning to plant in the new bed as to whether you will want to plant right away or wait until the grass is really dead. Maybe I am impatient, but I usually use this method without waiting. For instance I just planted a 100′ hedge of willows using this method. The willows were cuttings, so I laid down newspaper and soil/sweet peat mix that I had left over from another project, cut a hole through the newspaper and slipped them in. Last year I grew my sweet potatoes in a new bed on the lawn. I placed cardboard on the grass were I wanted the bed and then put a 12″ deep wooden raised bed on top, filled it with sandy soil and immediately planted the sweet potatoes. Two years ago, I grew my pumpkins on smothered grass; I put down cardboard and then a very thick landscape fabric down directly on the grass, cut an x for each seed and planted. Things might grow a little better if you wait, but as I said I’m impatient and next year the bed will already be made! There are some things that would probably be a pain or wouldn’t work if you didn’t wait such as small vegetable seeds (carrots, lettuce, radishes) or a lot of perennials that you intended to cut holes through the cardboard/newspaper to plant. The more holes you cut, the more light gets to the grass and the harder it struggles to survive; pieces often find their way through the holes and need to be weeded out. The only time when I wait to plant is when I am making a new bed in the fall and I wait till spring!
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