Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Urban Gardening! Peaceful Method for Preparing a Bed for Growing Vegetables (by killing grass and weeds): Start Saving Newspapers!

We first tried this method on a patch of annoying bermuda grass growing in the easement by the telephone pole just so we wouldn't have to mow it, and it worked well enough that we'll now use it to clear a space for a vegetable garden.

First, scalp the area by mowing (at the shortest setting) or weed-eating, then soak the area with a sprinkler for awhile. Next, put down at LEAST five layers of regular (not slick ad or magazine paper) newspaper over the area, overlapping them so that the ground is completely covered.

Then soak the newspaper and walk around on it to squish it down into the wet ground. Your neighbors will think you're nuts. Cover the whole mess with weed-fabric, anchoring down the edges and middle parts with bricks or rocks. Now ignore it for 3 months.

When you pull it all up, it should be pure, bare soil, ready for whatever. If this method sounds too hideously ugly for you to bear for 3 months, cover it all up with hardwood mulch.

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