Building raised beds/berms

Question re building raised beds.
I am going to contour the yard a bit with raised beds and berms. When you all do this, do you kill and/or remove the turf underneath first? The beds will be about 10"+ high in the middle.
I thought about ripping up the turf, composting it, tilling the base soil, then building the berm. Thank you for your time.
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Jack wrote:

What I usually do is scalp the turf, and then do some deep edging around the area. I then cover what's left with newspaper (at least 8 layers thick, and overlapping) or corrugated cardboard. On top of that goes the new soil, and a heavy layer of mulch. But I should also mention that I've only done this in areas that I didn't replant for at least six months.
In the much smaller areas that I wanted to plant sooner, I removed the turf and the soil down as far as the roots go, and replaced it all with fresh soil. Then I stored the turf upside down while it dried-out, and later sifted it, and composted the remaining organic material, and used the soil as fill in an area where it didn't matter if anything grew out of it.
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I would not do all that work. Without light the grass under the burm will die, so why kill your back too? If you plan to purchase top soil be worried about the weeds you are getting for free not the grass underneath. What I'd do is place your top soil where you want it right on top of the grass. Before mulching sprinlkle a product named "Snapshot" or "Preen" this is a pre-emergent and will keep any seeds from germinating.
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Don't recommend that stuff without first asking if edible plants will be growing in the bed.
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 08:54:28 -0800, higgledy wrote:

You may want to learn how to quote better:
http://resources.ywgc.com/info/usenetposting.shtml
As someone who installs many burmed beds per year.... remove the grass! I have done it both ways many times and the grass always comes through. The client will request that the grass areas not be killed/removed as a way of saving money, but in the end they have a mess that requires some sort of herbicide or labor to fix .
An underlayment of heavy cardboard and at least 8 inches of multch/soil will work but make sure you over-lap the cardboard by 6+ inches so the grass can't 'snake' it's way through.
Even with this method the grass can still get through as the cardboard breaks down. This happened to me when I created a mound for apple trees. Each mound was a pile of 2 yards of 3 way mix soil. I used 1, 14 foot Trex decking board for the edging and it looked great for 5 weeks..... then the client call and told me the cardboard failed. What happened was the cardboard got really soft due to the watering and the grass 'punched' through. Ended up nuking the new grass with herbicide and layed casoron to stop it from coming back the first year.
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http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/gravel/gravel.htm as you can see, we scalped, put down fabric and then gravel. almost no weeds came up except on the edges. and the raised beds were easy, removed the "grass", used 2x4 treated wood attached to 2x2 spikes, lined with plastic to keep dirt off the wood and leaking thru. has worked great. Ingrid

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