I wanted to try no-till and my wife didn't so I set up an experimental patch, separate from hers. My process was as follows:
1. Last fall, I marked off the area and stopped mowing that grass.
2. I flipped spadefuls of sod over and planted some forage turnip seed I had left over from an experiment on our bigger piece of land.
3. I picked turnips and threw the leaves on the ground. I ate forage turnips until I got tired of them and then let the rest sit in the ground.
4. I covered the whole thing with cardboard at the end of the season.
5. Early this spring, I planted various stuff, including "Hopi pale grey" squash that I started inside. I also tossed some compost/dirt mix on top in some places.
The result is below. Not too bad -- I've been burying parts of the quick-growing squash that has gone nuts (planted at the same time as the rest, it is doing far better so far).
Ann Torrence wrote:awesome. Seeing much grass coming back?
More important, what's your wife's opinion now?
The grass has been poking out a bit but the creeping charlie and wild violets are more determined to cause trouble. I've been pulling a fair quantity out of the holes I cut for planting. This fall I'm planning to cover it all with compost, straw, and manure and another layer of cardboard, just to see if that can overcome those two tough characters.
As for my wife: She hasn't said she sees the good side -- and I heard quite a bit about how it looked earlier in the season -- but she did plant some extra luffa squash and, more recently, carrot seed she had in the experimental plot, which suggests she may be coming around.
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