Lawn is, essentially, a pain. It’s more work, it needs to be fed and watered regularly in summer to look half decent (ie unsustainable, bad for the environment), and needs mowing on a regular basis too. To me, that’s just unnecessary extra work with no real benefits for me or for wildlife.
While I’m happy for Rich to take care of the lawn on the “flower” side of our Smallest Smallholding, on the veg side the super-poor soil under the lawn means that weeds rather than grass tend to thrive. There are ants nest aplenty, and mowing it regularly is arduous. It’s essentially unproductive land that could be doing so much more.
(Its only saving grace is the fact that we have a LOT of clover, and the bees love clover flowers. So we let big patches grow and do a sort of mowing rotation system so that there’s always an abundance of fresh clover available for them.)
Given that I am always struggling for space, it seemed such a simple solution to just reduce the amount of lawn and increase the amount of available veg bed space. In the past we’ve opted for traditional wooden boards to line our veg plots, but with my new-found fondness for no-dig vegetable growing, it’s just a case of compost/manure dump and go.
I’ve outlined where the new plot will go and put down some compost I had to start to suppress the grass. We’re off to a local stable to collect some fresh horse poo and hopefully by late Autumn we can start winter planting. I’ll keep you posted with some “how to advice” if you’d like to give no-dig beds a go. In the meantime, check out Charles Dowding’s No Dig approach on YouTube.