By Felicia Rose; Reposted from Mother Earth News

Flowers in Garden

Photo from Mother Earth News

Our initial reason for converting the lawn to a garden involved convenience. Quite simply, we wanted to be able to open the front door for a head of lettuce or a sprig of thyme. (In permaculture lingo, our lower garden is Zone 2 out of 5 — we wanted a zone one garden for greens and herbs.) What we have now is that and more.

It turns out neither the lasagna nor the hugelkultur beds require tilling. This is advantageous not only because it saves labor (which we then can use elsewhere), but also because it keeps the worm tunnels intact and discourages the dispersion of weeds.

As for weeds, we have surprisingly few. No doubt this is the result of the no-till method, but also of having smothered weed seeds along with the lawn. It probably helps too that we grow certain crops such as oregano that seem to keep weeds at bay. And when we harvest a crop from its roots, we plant something else in its place. Experience has taught us that if we don’t do so, Mother Nature will. And more often than not she chooses weeds. As for hugelkultur beds that are not yet ready for planting, we cover them with cardboard and heavy flakes of straw.

Some may consider a vegetable garden in front of the house unsightly. We disagree. We created the garden to have a convenient space to grow our herbs and greens. But an unexpected gift is its beauty. In our eyes, the garden is a joy to behold.

Want to learn how to transform your lawn? Read the full article here. For a hands on learning experience, join us this summer for a variety of permaculture workshops.

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