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What Your Lawn and This North Korean Dictator Have in Common.

North Korean

Is it possible to convert your lawn into a garden that can feed your family?

Yes.  But, the faster you need to do it, the harder it is to do.

Unfortunately, the soil below most lawns is in terrible condition.  It barely supports life.  That means in terms of feeding people, it is as bad as a North Korean dictator.

North Korean

It’s not that we don’t spend money on it.

We spend a lot of money – up to $40 billion a year on lawn care in the US – to keep it this way.  

That’s a heck of a lot of money to spend on an inch of sod with a substance abuse problem  –  eithout a steady stream of chemicals and care, it would die.

So, what can you do?

My strong recommendation is to plan and implement a foodscape that produces food naturally, with a minimal amount of work/cost.  I’ve got a report coming up that will detail how to do that soon.

In the meantime, here’s a low cost investment that that can get you started.

Turn it into a lawn that fertilizes itself and rehabilitates the soil.

To do that, do one simple thing:  plant clover.   Clover (white clover is a good start) is a nitrogen fixer, it takes nitrogen out of the air and puts it back into the soil, fertilizing it.   It can also detoxify soil.

In many yards, like mine, white clover grows on its own.

In my case, I just let it “infest” my yard.   I then help it along by mowing the yard closely (a close mowing favors clover over grass) and mowing around the clover that is going to seed.

If clover isn’t present already, you can seed it yourself or get some help seeding it.  Options include a complete clover solution like this (the brown on the right in the picture, is the neighbor’s scrub grass yard):

Nashville Foodscapes

or something closer to a standard lawn like this:

white clover

No matter what you decide, you are:

  • building up the quality of the soil so you have the option of planting a garden there in the future.
  • saving money and effort in ongoing maintenance of the lawn.
  • providing a healthier and better looking lawn for your family.

White clover or clover mixes are both easy to find and inexpensive.  So, there isn’t any obstacle to doing it.

Remember, the earlier you get going, the faster the transformation begins.

Get Resilient,

 

JOHN ROBB

colorado john

 

 

 

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  • I wonder how long it takes for growing white clover to put sufficient nitrogen in a lawn? That’s a good suburban solution. There are other nitrogen-fixers aka green manure but some of them get pretty tall.

    Then there’s potassium and phosphate needed as well. If you want to be organic, you can dump ashes from a wood fire on your lawn (a little goes a long way) for the potassium, and you can dump bone meal on it for phosphate. I guess you could also compost bones – but I’d take all the meat off, dry them out good and bury them pretty deep or you’ll have critter and stink problems. You can also get fish heads and bury them – that’s what the Indians did with their 3 sisters plantings – fed them a fish. Fish rots quick enough that it’s ok to compost it.

    I thought of burying roadkill under the garden, but I’m guessing if there’s roadkill on the road, then there’s still enough of an economy left to buy gas – and bone meal.

    A more sterile way to use bones if you can’t grind them up, people used to burn the bones left over from slaughtering pigs and cattle for meat and then put the ashes on their fields. That was the origin of the word “bonfire” or bone fire. That is also why bonfires are common around Halloween – because that was pig slaughtering season (it was cold enough to keep the meat fresh while you dealt with it).

  • PS: manure also has phosphorous.

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