I am putting in a 60 foot row of grapes in the spring. I need to dig up the
grass in about a three foot wide strip. In the past, I dug up the sod with
a shovel but now that I am chronologically advantaged, I need an easier way.
I have never used a tiller. Are they suitable for digging up sod or only
for turning dirt that has already had the sod removed? If they are
suitable, could someone recommend a brand and model please.
I think the easiest way to get rid of sod is mulching over it. I use
several layers of newspaper or one of cardboard covered with grass
clippings. This will decompose over a summer and may be tilled in or
planted in directly. It sounds like you want to do it over the winter.
I think mulch might still work, or black plastic which I have used
before. A tiller will cut up the grass but tilling dosn't kill it and
you'll be fighting it forvever. Grass is the worst weed in the garden.
Even my little Mantis tiller will do the job, though so slowly as to
not be worth it. The big rear tine tillers work best. The last time I
needed one I rented it for a day.
I'd look into renting a turf removing machine. It is designed to
remove turf just like turf farms do. You can remove the grass
and then move the sod to another area or, if it is good turf,
you may be able to sell it.
I saw this demonstrated on one of the gardening shows;
I think it was Gardening by the Yard. He was showing
how to remove sod for a brick path.
even spraying the area with a chemical like round up would work killing
the grass and weeds then leaving simmple dirt to turn over and plant
in, or for a more organic approch a strip of 6mill clear plastic
placed over the area would work let the sun cook and kill the grass
and weed seeds in the soil leaving you with clean sterile soil to plant
in (might want to add some manure or fertalizer to the soil after if
useing this method and of course the plastic only works when it is hot
and sunny out side
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