While looking at the Scallops (Sustainable Communities all over Puget Sound) website, I came across this informative video, appropriately named Lawn Gone, from the Urban Farmers Guild of Sustainable NE Seattle. It clearly shows two options for converting your lawn to garden. One method is sheet-mulching — basically covering the sod with compost, amendments, cardboard & leaves. This option is best done in the fall to give the sod all winter to break down.
The second method, better for those of us who didn’t get a head start, is to remove the sod, break up the soil, apply amendments and dress with compost. The amendments recommended for replacing minerals & other nutrients missing in the soil in our area are rock phosphate, greensand and kelp meal. If you have a very large area, you can rent a gas-powered sod cutter, but in most cases, a manual edger or sod cutter will work well and is also an excellent tool for keeping grass out of your garden beds. It might be easier to wait to remove your sod when the soil isn’t too saturated with water, making it heavy to lift and removing more soil than necessary.
Think about putting your garden in your front yard and get to know your neighbors.