Stretch light-excluding plastic over the lawn.With the edges securely anchored, the temperature under the plastic will increase dramatically. The high temperatures and lack of light will eventually kill the grass, although they can also destroy beneficial organisms. Plastic can be covered for aesthetic purposes, but it isn’t biodegradable and should eventually be removed.

Lucky for me, a neighbor stopped by and put an end to my madness.  There is a much, much easier way of doing this, and I am giving Deano all of the credit for enlightening me.

Once the outline is cut (edged), work in small sections.  Cut a strip of sod (about as wide as your edger), from the beginning of the grass section to the outline that you’ve already edged.  It sounds confusing, but think of it like cutting a sheet cake.  In this step, you’re cutting the width for all of the slices.

Oooooo Thank You. I have one of these and I too had no idea how to use it. Thanks for the great info. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished beds. : )

Q. I have a large patch of lawn damaged by my boys playing football in wet weather. I am going to put down some astro turf in one corner to keep them off it. I am taking up some turf - circa 12m sq in a different part of the garden. Do you have any thoughts and tips on how to go about digging up the existing lawn to enable me to relay this.

Choose an appropriate product, and carefully follow the directions on the label if you decide to use herbicides to kill your grass. Be sure to buy a product designed to kill grasses (not one specific to broad-leaved plants), and check the expiration date.

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A tilled bed can be planted immediately, but the process brings to the surface weed seeds that may germinate and cause problems later. You may also wind up inadvertently propagating some weeds like quack grass, which can send up new shoots from the small pieces of its chopped-up rhizome. Canada thistle does the same thing with its severed lateral roots. If you keep the soil moist and delay planting by a couple of weeks, you can pull, hoe, or otherwise dispatch these weeds as they emerge.

sygxaritiria ston kyrio mbarka…panta o kwstas mbarkas htan einai kai tha einai konta sto synanthropous mas.alwste to exei apodiksei einai o monos vouleftis pou exei to thl pantote anixto gia ton opiondipote kai asxoloite me ola ta provlimata tou kathe politi.me agapi /O GERMATIS.

If you have an underground irrigation system and plan to add new planting beds to your landscape, consider converting some of your sprinkler heads to a drip system.

One drawback to sod removal is the significant loss of organic material, which greatly contributes to the health of plants. It must be restored as compost, as aged manure, or in some other form. Usually, topsoil must also be replaced. Some of it may be shaken out of the sod that was removed, but you will probably need more, especially if you need to raise the level of the bed.

Grow Your Own Magazine 25 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY United Kingdom.

A few weeks ago we had one of those warm, sweet spring days that made me forget my dread and grab my shovel.  Actually, I grabbed the garden hose and some spray paint first.  I used the hose to define the shape that I wanted for the beds, and then marked the outline with spray paint.

Before beginning any excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities.

Once the spade is horizontal, continue the stabbing motions to go further under the existing turf. Once the whole spade is under the turf and horizontal, use the "heel" of the spade - the part of the blade where it meets the handle - to keep it steady and determine the depth.

I’m going to be putting in an above ground pool and found your blog on sod removal, this is a way better idea than what I was fixing to do. I was gonna do it the hard way as you started out doing to get my spot leveled out. Thanks to you and Deano for this tip.

Once you've marked the line by cutting through to about 2-3 inches down, insert the spade at about 45 degrees and then tilt it downwards to cut forwards at a depth of about an inch under the soil. The spade should be turned to become flat. If you're right-handed, then your right hand on the spade handle will supply the effort to do this while your left hand steadies the spade near the blade.

If you want to re-lay the turf you have lifted, you could hire a "professional machine". The most common turf cutters like the one in the picture result in turf that is rather messy and can't really be re-laid again, it's best composted as it's all chewed up in irregular sized pieces.

Misuse of any herbicide is dangerous and will have negative effects on the environment. While the environmental impact of herbicide is a consideration, those containing glyphosate as the active ingredient have fewer residual effects – when used correctly – than other herbicides.

Now cut the strip into chunks (cutting the cake into individual slices!).  I do one chunk at a time.

Which, ironically, I bought because I read somewhere that it’s the tool for sod removal.  But I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to use it – the method described in the article was just as back-breaking as my shovel method.

Digging up a lawn can be more difficult with a tenacious perennial grass such as Bermuda, which has deep roots and will regrow from portions of the root. For this type of grass, you'll need to kill the plant before you remove it. Killing the grass completely may require herbicide.

Perhaps the easiest way to eliminate grass is to smother it using plastic, newspaper, or cardboard. Depending on the time of year and material used, this can take several months.

And if all this works, and isn’t too hard for me, I’d like to put monkey grass all in that sidewalk street area too all around that corner lot. Then maybe I won’t have to cut that strip of grass on that street strip any more?

Laying weed barriers, such as plastics or fabrics, under mulch is a personal choice. Some gardeners love them and others hate them. The barrier may prevent grass and weeds from returning, but it must be pinned down properly to be effective and to prevent it from protruding through the mulch.

Herbicides kill grass quickly, but it’s often unclear what else they do in the soil.

Wow, thanks for the tip! I am half way through one 8×4′ garden bed and was spending way too much time getting the dirt off the sod; even trying to be careful not to decapitate worms with my trowel. I’m buying an edger on my way home tonight.

Inspect your new bed’s subsoil (and the underside of the sod if it will be reused). Once the sod is gone, look for and destroy potential pests, such as the larvae of May/June beetles. Remove any rocks, remaining clumps of grass, and sizable roots.

A series of short, sharp back-and-forth stabbing movements are most effective to get the spade cutting the soil and grass roots rather than a continuous force, sharpening the spade before you start will help.

Some herbicides affect all plants, but others kill only grass, so choose wisely.

Ohhhhhh Thank You. Thank you for sharing information. I have one of these and I too had no idea how to use it. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished beds

Several layers of newspaper will block light, causing the grass to die. A few months later, the soil will be ready for planting.

Training a Fuchsia as a standard Training a Wisteria as a standard

Removed turf - you'll have loads of this, pile it up out of the way somewhere with the grass side down, water it well with several watering cans worth and cover with old carpet or something and weight it down - bin bags at a pinch. In 6 months it will be ready to use as a mulch or to dig into the soil. The more grass in relation to soil the better.

How to dig up grass

Pros: Retains organic matter; is quicker and easier than digging; permits immediate plantingCons: Is difficult on rocky sites and in wet or clay soils; turns up weed seeds; propagates certain weedsTip: Large tillers can be hard to maneuver. You will likely need to carve the edge of your new bed with a spade or edger, especially if the border is curved.

Thank you for the great tutorial! I’ve been scouring the internet for hours trying to figure out how to do this very thing. I’ll be buying an edger in the morning.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing how I finished the beds to get them ready for planting.

Many homeowners put time, effort and money into maintaining their lawns. But there are times when you may want to devote these resources toward getting rid of your grass.

Don’t apply herbicides when rain is expected or they may wash off plants and into the soil and nearby waterways. Also, avoid applying on windy days to prevent drift onto nearby plantings. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and a mask when applying herbicides.

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