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Sunday
Nov042007

Lawn into Lunch

Lawns%20into%20Luncht.jpgWould you rather be able to get an amazingly fresh and tasty lunch from right outside your back step than have to drive down to the supermarket? Sounds good to us! We’re on a mission to transform our lawn into lunch.

Now most people would sensibility start small. But we decided to tackle the whole lawn in one day - about 600 square metres of it. So off we went with a turf cutter, cutting the grass and flipping it over in an attempt to kill that ever so vigorous kikuyu. Yes we almost killed ourselves in the process – turf cutters have a mind of their own, and lawn is not exactly the lightest thing to flip over!

But our future fruit trees will love us for replacing the kikuyu (which they really don’t like), with non invasive grasses like cow pea, millet, pintos peanut and clover (which they love). And we were able to keep with the organic nature of our place and not use any chemical weedkillers.

We baked the flipped over lawn for a week, spread a bit of top soil ontop, and sowed some soil improving seeds. The ever invasive kikuyu is trying to make a comeback, but we’re keeping ontop of it by hand weeding. And we’re looking forward to having the most luscious, organic supermarket in our own backyard!



Reader Comments (7)

Looks like a huge job but well worth the effort when the garden goes in. What are you going to plant in regards to trees? Have you seen Daleys nursery website. They have a great catalougue?

November 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkaran

Hi Karan,

Yes ... it will be well worth the effort when we are literally feasting on the fruits of our labour!!!

In the short term we plan to grow mainly soil improving shrubs and trees such as acacias, bleeding hearts, leucanea etc. In the autumn we plan to plant out most of our fruit trees. Its cooler then, less time needed to irrigate the new trees, and by the time spring comes around next year they will have developed a good root system that requires less looking after.

We plan to put in over 120 fruits trees and shrubs ranging from Acerola to White Sapote. You can find out the full list of fruit trees we plan to grow by checking out our Fruit Trees Article:

http://www.happyearth.com.au/fruit-trees/

I have checked out Daleys website before thanks. We've been to their nursery in Kyogle and highly recommend their fruit trees. Most of our fruit trees come from their nursery. We drool when we read through their catalougue with all the amazing fruits on offer :)

November 17, 2007 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth

If you still want a bit of lawn but want it usable, try planting creeping thyme, you don't need to mow it, you can walk on it and you can use it to cook with.

April 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEdible lawn

Would sheet mulching with wide cardboard pieces,new coir carpet underfelt,used carpet underfelt( possibly sprayed with household insecticides),old woollen carpet and newspaper have been an easier way to kill kikuyu?
And would turning over turf be harmful to soil structure and micro-organism life etc?
Is your turf cutting and turning actually effective in killing kikuyu,as it has so many rhizomes that can regrow?

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRolFlora

Sheeting mulch an area over 600m2 would be very hard work. In addition, its impossible to sow soil stabilising crops into an area that has been sheet mulched without bringing in an enourmous amount of soil. Sheet mulching is a better solution on a small scale like a vegie bed where you can build a no-dig bed and plant straight into it with established seedlings.

The turf-cutter is harmful to the soil structure but only the top 5-10cm - however the plants in the garden are growing well and the soil structure is better now that it was prior to cutting the turf. There is the need for some follow-up handweeding after turf cutting - one year on now and there is only the odd stand of kikuyu trying to grow back. The important thing is to out-compete it by growing other crops such as clover, lucerne, millet etc,

Maybe some type of organic spray might be the best solution?? But im not aware of any at the moment that would do the job properly.

December 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth

We have just moved into a new property. It is a frost area, has thick sticky black clay soil. There are some fruit trees here. They look sickly and have been here about 5 years and are small mostly yeallowing leaves and not doing real well. Should we rip them out and do the soil thing that you talk about or try and save them some how? What is the best thing to do with black clay soil? I love gardening but I really dont know where to start. I found your wen site very interesting and helpful. i wish you were able to come and tell me what to do. We live in Maryvale near Warwick QLD.
Thanks for a wonderful site.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Hi Sue,

Glad you like the website :)

Aquiring as much information as you can on gardening is the best place to start. Check out our links and resources page for recommended texts. For soils, i particular;y like pat colebys 'natural farming' - its got excellant advice on soils and how to improve them. On a simple note, you cant beat gypsum and lots of organic matter. If your fruit trees arent happy, them dig them out - improve the soil situation and plant new ones. They will quickly out perform any tree that has been dug out and transplanted.

BTW, soils are the easiest thing to improve - aspect and climate are much harder :)

August 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth

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