When we acquired the empty lot next door, I, naturally, wanted to transform much of it to a vegetable garden. But, what to do with all that grass? Previously, I created small vegetable plots by double digging. But that seemed daunting for the project at hand. Realizing that a layer of leaves kills grass underneath over the winter, I decided to work with, rather than against that process. We fenced in the area we wanted for the garden, and, that fall, raked the fallen leaves inside the fenced-in area. We left the leaves on through the winter, the spring, the summer, and, the next fall, raked more leaves onto the garden. That next spring (2009), we raked aside the leaves for the rows that we wanted to plant, turned over the wonderful, weed free dirt, and planted our seed. Stray Cat TLC monitored our progress.
And the garden grew. More leaves, straw, grass clippings, formed mulch between rows, eliminating the need to weed or hoe.
There was no tilling, no double digging, no grass, no weeds (or very little weeds). I highly recommend this method for converting lawn into garden. It took planning and patience, but it was worth it. For this first plot we put leaves on the area for two falls before we attempted the spring planting, we could have planted after only one winter season. That fall (2009) we expanded the garden area by putting leaves over a wider area and we planted that area the next spring (2010).