Not all the world hates weeds. Sure, there are many gardeners scuffling around in the clogs, cursing those pesky dandelions (actually a highly medicinal plant) and that crabgrass blemishing their flower beds. They offer theories as to how to prevent them, when to get rid of them and, at the weakest and worst moments, may even spray a little agent orange, aka Roundup, to kill them dead, dead, dead.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, with a little effort and a good plan, weeds and gardeners can live in harmony. In fact, it’s not just weeds. It’s all those twigs and sticks that loiter round beneath trees. The mountains of leaves that spiral down in the autumn can join in as well. With the right mindset, that is a mindset of feeding your garden some premium organic fodder, all the yard work many have come to despise can actually be … exciting.
That’s right. I said it. I love weeding and raking. I get warm and fuzzy over fallen debris from my trees. I know that all of this stuff will make my garden a richer, more fertile space, and it is completely free. Instead of agonizing over the work I’m doing to keep the grass trimmed, through permaculture techniques, I’ve learned how to make my yard work for me.
Step 1: More Garden, Less Grass
The first and most exciting step of making your yard work for you is getting rid of the grass and making a garden (Here are ten reasons to do it!). This, however, doesn’t have to be the typical tilled-up rows we’ve come to associate with growing vegetables. Garden beds can be arranged like flowerbeds, or they can be beautiful herb spirals or funky designs. The idea is to use the space to grow food, which can be an alluring mix of colors and aromas as well. Then, rather than mowing the lawn so much, you get to harvest some food.
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