Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reusable, recylable....Trader Joe's in the garden!

The edge of the grass we wanted to keep was chiseled out with an edger to form a small trench, into which the bags were tucked.
Well, today was a busy day in the garden, so here is a snippet from the activities.  Trader Joe's paper bags come with suggestions on how you can reuse or recycle, but this was not on the about using them to reclaim some grass for a planting area? 

Let's say you have too much grass.  Want to get rid of it and create a nice planting area?  Don't dig up the grass....nature put too many goodies in there to discard!  Just paper over, with handy Trader Joe bags (or newspaper, or cardboard, also work well), spray with a bit of water to get 'em nice and soggy, and then cover with bark mulch or any other organic material.

Once you get the paper bags in place, spray with water and top dress with mulch, and they will stay in place (try not to step on them too much for the first couple of weeks).
In a couple of months the grass will have died back, lending all that good natural nitrogen and other organic elements to the soil underneath  (and, I can attest from my own observations that the earthworms just go crazy under that cozy layer of damp material, giving the soil a lovely texture). Then you can start gently digging and planting whatever suits you.  Meanwhile, you have a tidy mulched area, and the best mowing or watering!

Here is a larger view of the more of the planting area created in the last couple of days.  All of the mulched area (reddish brown in color, as our local mulch here in the Willamette Valley is a deliciously aromatic mix of chopped Douglas Fir wood) has been treated in this way and was previously lawn area....very tedious to mow.

There is quite a slope to this section, which made mowing downright treacherous...a terrace will go in to provide easy planting and maintenance, as well as a small rocky path to climb the slope.

And now, Oh, the possiblities!  The summer will be spent designing the planting for this new area and in the Fall when the rains begin again to provide water to the new plants, the digging will begin.  What fun!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool Cate! That is going to look so nice. And I can see you are going to have to do some heavy duty plant shopping! I'm in! :)

    P.S. I got off one devil machine and moved to the other one.