As I suspected, research would have helped with my attempt to
murder our grass convert lawn to garden. I spent a warm Saturday cutting black garbage bags open, hauling bricks and stone edgers, and fighting with crinkling sheets of plastic in the wind while I tried to anchor corners and smother grass.
Four days later, at least five corners had dislodged; sled-sized patches of bright green grass grew happily towards the sun. Growing grass bulged under the billowing bags while a friend overseas asked, “How’s the grass-killing going?”
When I told him I didn’t think it was working, he sent me an article on No-Dig Gardening. “The hippie way,” he said. Another friend said his dad used newspaper, then covered the newspaper with mulch, instead of using plastic.
This didn’t occur to me, to smother with materials that worms can eat, that will decompose, that will become a part of life instead of a blocker to it.
On Friday, it was warm and sunny, and I decided to undo all the work I did last weekend. I pulled up the plastic only to see how ineffectual it had been. The bricks and edgers succeeded in killing some grass, but the plastic did not.
I stacked the bricks, threw the plastic away, and started reading about happier ways to kill grass.