Recently I posted on four ways you can start a new garden by removing your lawn organically.
Then I thought, “Hey, this isn’t a bad post at all… it would make a good video!” So my wife and I filmed it, expanding the list to five methods, and we even threw in a bonus sixth method.
In the comments, there were a few more good – or at least interesting – suggestions on removing a lawn and starting a garden, such as “hire teenagers to dig it” and “burn brush over the lawn and then plant.”
We’ve done both successfully, though the latter method can have its problems. We once burned a fire in our Tennessee yard and it stayed a bare spot for multiple years. If you are going to burn off the lawn, it makes sense to do so with enough fuel (autumn leaves work well) that you can kill the grass, but not so much fuel that you torch the ground beneath so thoroughly that it destroys all life. Though the death of that one area might have been because we burned over hard clay, possibly half turning it into brick.
Burned areas often grow back very nicely as the ashes and charcoal feed the next crops. I visited one couple who had cleared the woods around their house and replaced it with a large lawn and pasture. The homeowner pointed out multiple dark green areas in the grass where he had burned piles of trees years before. Even after almost a decade, they were still maintaining fertility. This was a sandy area in North Florida, however, and not the hard rocky clay of Tennessee.
Seeing such long-term improvements in fertility does tend to support our biochar/terra preta experiments.
As for method #6, using animals to clear ground, you can see a good example in Flannel Farms’ recent video:
Have a great Monday. We are working to prepare for SCRUBFEST II at the end of the week. Maybe we’ll get to see you there.