Maybe you’re not ready to rip out your lawn, but here’s a chance to start slow and easy by converting a section of lawn into a garden bed via lasagna mulching. All you need is a pile of corrugated cardboard (flattened boxes are best), about double what you think you’ll need to create your space. The cardboard is candy to beneficial mycorrhizal fungi that help plant roots find the nutrients and water they need, according to interpretive horticulturist Leigh Adams, who created the Los Angeles County Arboretum’s Crescent Farm, lush with edible trees, plants and wildflowers.
With increased home deliveries, you might be able to collect enough cardboard from your neighbors’ recycle bins (ask first — it’s a little creepy to dig through other people’s discards without permission). Lay down the cardboard thickly, water it well, tamping it against the ground, then add at least 8 inches of compost, organic potting soil, dried leaves, vegetable trimmings, garden waste (minus weed seeds), lawn clippings (in moderation to avoid matting) and/or wood chips from local tree trimmers. Water each layer and cover with at least 4 inches of mulch. If all you have is wood chips, make them at least 8 inches deep, and when you plant, fill your holes with potting soil to give seedlings a base to get started as the pile breaks down, ultimately becoming excellent soil.