Permaculture newbie...

kineala(zone 7)July 27, 2012

Hello all,

I'm a bit of a permaculture newbie. I started "sheet mulching" a few years ago without realizing it was an acknowledged way to start a garden bed. & Once I figured out that my garden bumbling about was actually working rather well, I've read-up and learned a lot more about permaculture methodologies. I plan to start a hugelkultur bed this Fall. :-)

I have a question, though... I want to convert a decent sized area of the back of my lawn from all grass to more useful greenery (that hopefully doesn't need mowed). My hope is for this outer area to keep the rabbits busy and well fed so they won't continue to eat through the fence in my main garden. The area is probably a bit more than 1/9 of an acre, so it's really big to dig out the grass or sheet mulch (without throwing out my back hauling mulch). & I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on this??

I had an idea about slowly converting the grass over to more wild/useful greens... overplanting clover, alfalfa, and maybe some other scattered veggie seeds this Fall and next Spring and letting the region go wild next year. & Slowly doing the same next year, etc... until the grass is out-competed. But, I'm not sure if this will work well & I'm curious if anyone else has any thoughts??

THANKS a lot in advance,

tracy

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oliveoyl3

Tracy,
The rabbits do have preferences, but you can't guarantee that they'll eat what you plant for them & avoid the other plants. They will continue to get to the main garden unless fenced out. Try a wire fence if they're chewing through your existing fence.

Slowly converting grass to garden works, but not sure what you mean by letting it go wild. You'll need to smother the grass not overplant seeds within the grass. Grass is tougher & faster growing! You mentioned cover crop or vegetable seeds. Some will reseed and could replant themselves, but likely not in the density desired unless managed. Depends on your purpose for this space. If you want to grow harvestable vegetables it is possible if grass is eradicated by either digging or smother/mulch method.

Best wishes,
Corrine

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:29PM
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kineala(zone 7)

Thanks very much for the comments, Corrine.

Very good points. Grass *is* tougher and faster growing....! I guess the best way to phase out this area of grass over the next several years is probably to sheet mulch and plant sections of it at a time. Ultimately my hope is for this outer portion of the yard is to be a semi-wild rabbit food garden... consisting of cover crops & some veggies and flowers.

My two main gardens have 7ft fences with anchored metal wire all around the bottom. The rabbits (& squirrels, & groundhogs) just seem to dig under... (sigh). I'm guessing any outer "rabbit food garden" won't sustain the local population for long. But, hopefully easily available food might distract them some from my main gardens.

THANKS!!!

tracy

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 6:46PM
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oliveoyl3

Persistent rodents can be thwarted with buried wire at edges. I've read suggestions for dealing with them on the vegetable gardening forum.

Hope that helps~Corrine

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:03PM
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