The Hard Way
1. Get shovel or spade and dig up clumps of grass. Scrape off only turf, by slicing your spade under sod or simply dig straight down. Knock turf clod to loosen the soil. Grass clumps go in compost, grass side down. If soil is too sandy or clay, add triple mix, compost and/or rotted manure. (This step works for all) Start planting.
2. If mid July, sweat profusely, and enjoy muscles speaking to you about it the next day.
The Slow Way
1. Collect huge stack of newspapers and cardboard. Hoarders rejoice! Put thick layers (newspaper at least 10 sheets thick) on grass. If you can find an old carpet, even better. Use rocks or bricks to hold down. Lack of water and light kills grass. If newspaper offends eyes, add thick layer of coarse mulch on top.
2. Wait at least a year. Read books, file nails, catch up on Mad Men. No sweat involved. Peel off or dig through the newspapers. Remove carpet completely. Start planting.
The Easy Way
1. Use pre-bagged organic soil. Buy as many as you need to cover the garden space. Put bag flat side down, cut slashes in bottom and open up top by cutting with knife, as in picture above.
2. Lay bags side by side, with no space between. Plant your tomatoes or whatever you want right in the bag. Roots will fill bag and then go down into the soil underneath.
3. Bags will kill grass underneath. Next year, or even at the end of the season, remove the plastic that the bags came in and dispose.
Picture at top shows same garden in mid summer.
Photos and Garden by Patrick Lowney