We just moved into a new rental and have permission from our landlord to start a garden. Our yard has a great southern exposure, is very flat, and we're in Seattle.
I've never started a garden before and I'm getting pretty frustrated by all the roadblocks I'm hitting. :/
I was thinking this year I'd try not to bite off more than I can chew and to put in one 4x10 ft. raised bed. Maybe do another in the fall and have it ready for spring 2018. I have no particular aversion to another type of garden, but these seemed popular and pretty simple.
I'm getting a lot of conflicting opinions on this; do I need to remove the existing sod? I started to remove some and went through about a 3x3 area when I realized there was no way it was going to fit in our city compost bins. I'm not sure if I'm pulling up too much but the grass roots seem to be about 4" deep. If I have to I can rent a pickup and truck it to a yard waste disposal facility but I'd rather avoid that hassle if possible.
I've read about lasagna gardening, where you kill the grass with wet cardboard and pile things to compost on top. I wouldn't be able to plant until next year with this method and I was really hoping to have a garden this summer.
So I'm wondering... would I be able to put down wet cardboard over the desired area, build an 11" fence around it, and fill the resultant box with compost/topsoil? I only worry that when the plants get through that first 11" they'll hit the cardboard and the soil underneath will be so compacted they won't be able to grow into it. Could I lightly till the sod and then put cardboard on it?
I really don't need the world's best garden here, I'm just looking to get started without pulling out too much of my hair. Again if there is something totally different that I can try I'm totally open to it, seeing as I've done pretty minimal work so far.
Edit: Also I've been wondering about if it's reasonable to break up and aerate the sod, lay cardboard on top to ensure it's dead, and then add finished soil/compost on top. It's not a labor issue here I'm willing to work hard, I just don't want to spend days renting equipment and running all over town spending too much money.