Making a new garden plot is no easy task – no matter how you do it. But I may just have found the easiest and least work-intensive method of turning that patch of lawn into a beautiful garden plot.
In my early attempts to make new garden plots from scratch, I tried a variety of methods. I tried digging out the sod and then hauling in six inches of topsoil to replace it. Of course, that is a whole lot of work if done by hand, and renting machinery can be quite expensive. Then there’s the problem of what to do with the sods, and where to find quality topsoil.
Another method I’ve tried is to spray the grass with chemical, killing the grass, and then tilling the sod. But that means dealing with chemicals and finding a heavy duty rototiller which wouldn’t be cheap. Then once all that is done, you still have to go through an clear off all the bits and pieces of sod in order to have a workable garden.
So finally, I believe I have found a way to create a new garden space without machinery, without chemicals, and without any digging or tilling. Are you ready for this?
Simply cover the area with spoiled hay and let nature do the rest.
Almost any local farmer is likely to have some spoiled hay sitting around that he would be happy to part with for little or no cost. Just lay down a thick layer of it (about 8 inches) all over the area you would like for your garden and let nature do it’s thing.
The hay will decompose and turn into beautiful soil, and at the same time…
- Retain moisture
- Rot the underlying sod
- Act as a weed barrier
And while it does take a while for the hay to decompose into rich, beautiful soil, you can add a layer of soil just underneath the hay so you can plant right away. Otherwise, you can plant things like potatoes and onions right in the hay right from day one – no soil necessary.
I made a new patch this fall using this method, so I’ll be sure to post some pictures when things start happening in the spring. If you’ve tried this method of making a garden plot, I’d love to hear your story.