Energy bump

Hand drawn sketch of graph showing energy bump required to get to annual veg or woodland edge forest garden

The energy bump required in converting grassland into garden

Grass is a high maintenance & high energy to maintain, and requires a bump of energy to convert it into any type of garden

I sketched this graph a few years ago, to illustrate to a client that maintaining grass is high energy, either with a machine or a scythe. But it is easy, as in everybody knows how to mow a lawn.

To move the grass to a different state requires a bump of energy. If it’s a traditional veg garden, it will require constant weeding to allow the annual veg to grow. If it’s a forest garden with perennial veg, then longer term it is way less energy than either annual veg or grass. But it does take time, a good two years or more for the ground cover and perennials to get established, which means two years of discriminate weeding.

And then there is the cultural energy bump, which is a whole other thing!