• Wayne Cardinalli

Planning a new garden? Start now - remove grass by smothering

by Wayne Cardinalli

If you plan to plant a pollinator garden next spring, you can take some action in the fall. Decide where you want your garden. How much sun or shade will plants get? Will it the area be large or small? What type of soil do you have? You will need to remove existing vegetation - the lawn and all weeds must be eradicated.

You can save yourself some hard work by smothering your turf now rather than digging it up. This is called sheet mulching.

Late fall is the perfect time to start. During summer drought most lawns go dormant, so it’s better to sheet mulch when the grasses are alive. The idea is to eliminate your lawn by preventing its active growth. The lack of light stops the process of photosynthesis which helps the smothered grass die back. At the same time, worms, bugs and other beneficial micro-organisms break down the organic matter into your soil so it will be available to your plants. When the grass dies, you can plant right into the mulched area, without removing the smothering materials.