Still searching for an achievable New Year’s resolution? You’re not alone, nearly 25% of Americans have already forsaken their resolve. Don’t despair…It’s not too late! We have a healthy resolution that will fill your senses, put money in your wallet, and create a better environment—without personal deprivation!
Convert your lawn to a vibrant, Bay-Friendly edible landscape. You’ll be enjoying the fruits of your (or others) labor before most people have forgotten their resolutions in June. Making the conversion process easier, and adding a little incentive are the half dozen or more lawn conversion rebate programs handily summarized on the Lose Your Lawn site, sponsored by StopWaste.org.
Appearing like a forgotten gift left under that dry evergreen in your living room (which you need to put curbside this month for proper greencycling), you’ll find rebate offers up to $5,000 to get rid of your lawn.
To help you stick to your resolve, WM EarthCare™ is a partner in the StopWaste.org Lose Your Lawn program. Starting this month, WM EarthCare sheet mulching packages, consisting of mulch, OMRI-listed Homegrown Compost™ and cardboard sheets from recycled materials, are available at participating nurseries. It’s everything you need to get the job done. Happy New Year!
Now, get started!
Step 1. Identify the lawn conversion rebate program that applies to where you live. You can do this via the links on the StopWaste.org website or by contacting your local water district.
Step 2. View the “How-To Slideshows” on sheet mulching, drip irrigation, and sprinkler retrofit available on the StopWaste.org website. It wouldn’t hurt to also read the Lose Your Lawn edition of The Scoop!
Step 3. Gather your sheet mulching materials and say, “Bye, bye!” to your lawn. If you need a boost of additional inspiration take a peek at the Sunset Magazine successful lawn conversions featured on the StopWaste.org website.
Step 4. Plan and layout your edible garden in the area previously occupied by your lawn.
If you’re in a quandary about what to plant get your hands on a copy of The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-less, Grow-more Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden by Ivette Soler (2011, Timber Press). This is a great resource, well researched and practical, with lots of illustrations and color photos. I highly recommend this book!
If space is an issue or small-scale gardening is your preference, then check out Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space. Written by Derek Fell (2011, Rodale Press), this book will get you thinking about using your limited yard, patio or deck space to maximize your fruit, vegetable, and flower bounty.
Also an inspiration and how-to DIY resource is Garden Up! co-authored by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet (2010, Cool Springs Press). You’ll find lots of design tips and problem solving hints spread between more than 200 photos.
With design and how-to resources in hand, it’s time to talk seed.
If you’re an heirloom and organic seed nerd like me, I highly recommend that you consider one of the seed packet packages put together by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The small heirloom package, great for a family of 4, contains 15 types of veggies and 30 varieties conveniently packaged for your growing pleasure. Baker Creek has a retail store in an old bank in Petamula, CA. It’s called the Seed Bank. For more information go to: www.rareseeds.com or call phone 707-773-1336. Baker Creek also sponsors the National Heirloom Exposition held in Sonoma County, CA. Watch for more on this amazing event in an upcoming issue of The Scoop.
Okay, if heirloom veggies aren’t quite your thing, but organic is, then check out Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (PVFS) at www.GrowOrganic.com, phone 888-784-1722. PVFS is my number one source for growing organic. Beyond having a great collection of organic and native seeds, canning supplies, home chicken coops, fertilizers, feed, and tools, PVFS also offers a series of short, well done “How To” videos that are among the best I’ve seen.
Finally, if you’d like to add a cultural influence to your edible landscape, take a look at Kitazawa Seed Company at www.kitazawaseed.com, phone 510-595-1188. Kitazawa Seed, based in Oakland, CA, has been selling high quality vegetable seeds for more than 90 years! More the 300 varieties of Asian vegetable seeds from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, and India are available. I particularly like the Chef Specialty Garden seed packages.
In keeping with the WM EarthCare™ locally sourced philosophy, you’ll note that the seed providers mentioned are located within the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Supporting these local businesses is good for our economy, our community and our environment.
Last, but not least…
Step 5. Hit the dirt, and get to work. You made a resolution to lose your lawn and go edible. Now get going!
Happy Sheet Mulching!
~The Dirt Dude