Yesterday, I prepared an area for planting horseradish, rhubarb and
ginger root. I removed all old grass with a layer of sod and tossed on
the compost pile. Do do this, I simply undercut the sod with a shovel,
with a kind of "bayonet like" movement of shovel. It was painful and a
lot of effort.
We are thinking about planting new lawn in another area, and I would
like to remove old sod to keep it weed free. The question is, what is
the most economical way (effort-wise)to do so? Is a "sod cutter" a
good way to go?
Also, what can I do with a large quanity of old dead sod. I have a
compost pile, which is comprised of old leaves, new grass, and chicken
manure (2 chickens). Would it do well in a compost pile?
The *easiest* method is not to remove it at all. You can define the area to
be converted, spray with Roundup, wait 7 days or so, then plant directly in
through the sod. I've done this many times with good results, but for it to
work well long-term one should then lay thick layers of newspaper and mulch
in on top.
maybe I can cover it with blue tarp until fall? (I already own three
huge blue tarps).
I am reluctant to use herbicides, because I recently planted four
fruit trees in that area. I want to plant grass around those
trees. The area is currenntly empty maybe 60%, and has bad grass and
weeds in another 40%.
"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
The blue tarp should work. Roundup is OK around trees if you want to
go that way. I'd put newspaper and then grass clippings or mulch on
top around the trees. It would get rid of the grass and weeds and
build the soil. Worms love newspaper.
I sure hope you will NEVER want to move that horseradish, one hair
root survives, you got more horseradish, I put a 4 x 8 piece of scrap
plywood over mine, and left it there for oh.. 10 years... it managed
to eventually get out from under it.
You are wanting to kill off old sod, and then reseed it to grass
again? In order to make the new lawn are weed free?
Is the current grass ok, just weedy? Or is it entirely unacceptable
grass, as well as weedy?
If the grass is ok, just weedy, then don't kill it, kill the weeds.
There are lots of broad leaf weed killers out there that will kill the
non-grass plants. Once that has been done, rake the ground to loosen
the soil and then reseed over the existing grass. Or you can go over
it shallowly with a rototiller, tear up the current grass.. after
killing broad leaf weeds. Then water it very well, and keep it
watered, you will have just performed a few million "cuttings" and the
cut rhizomes will sprout and make more grass. That's why the WORST
thing you can do to form a new garden spot is to just rototill the
grass where you want it. Even with diligent raking, you will have so
much grass come up in there! You could rototill, and seed too, keep
it all well watered.
If you have a lot of grass you do not want growing in your lawn, then
you have another problem. If it's quack grass, all I can say is GOOD
LUCK getting rid of it if there is a lot of it. Supposedly the newer
formulations of round up is supposed to kill it. Finale was supposed
to kill it, but I no longer see it for sale. If you have a lot of
quack grass, I'd suggest every method you can think of combined!
Spray the affected area it with something rated to kill it. Wait,
water, wait to see what grows, spray that again. I'd take a season if
it's quack grass and lots of it, at least, to make sure it's REALLY
dead. During this time, let things die, rake them off, water, don't
stir up the soil to expose new weed seeds at this point. Wait,watch,
see what is still going to come up, respray. If you see there is
still a lot of quack grass coming up.. keep in mind their rhizomes
often grow many feet each spring.. I pulled up 10 feet of rhizome
before it broke in the spring one year. That's the only time of year
you can really pull out a lot of it like that.. before the side shoots
anchor it. If you seed when you know you still have quack grass alive
it will remain alive. You can spray, respray, cover it with black
plastic, keep light and food away from the roots, and it can still
come back if there are rhizomes under the plastic being fed by green
plant somewhere else, so it might be worthwhile to at least make a cut
all around the section you're dealing with, to sever any rhizomes.
I hope all you have is broad leaf weeds, in which case, spray them
with a broad leaf weed killer, rake out the dead weeds and thatch
after the weeds die, and rough up the soil a bit doing that, and
reseed the area heavily with a good grass seed, and water and keep it
watered the old grass will act like the straw they tell you to scatter
across a newly seeded area of ground, it will help to keep the soil
damp, and when the new seed grows, and you feed it.. it will thicken
and choke out anything trying to grow in the lawn.
You can spray all the existing lawn with round-up, rake off the dead
stuff, do whatever you want to do to improve the soil, but by working
that into the soil, you will bring new weed seeds to the surface, and
they'll sprout right along with the lawn grass seed if you choose to
seed at that time. But the grass will choke out most of them
eventually. If you have stubborn perennial weeds like bind weed, that
too is tenacious and should be gotten rid of before planting your
grass. Tilling it up will only make it worse. They have very deep
flesh roots that can store food for a long time. Local agricultural
agent said you can spray, and repeat, over and over. Or you can go
out and BEFORE they have bloomed paint full strength roundup on their
leaves. You should be able to do so on just a few leaves, and if it's
before it's bloomed it's supposed to take the roundup down to the
roots. After, the sap flow reverses and it doesn't work. I didn't
say it, she did. I've not tried it because I don't get around so well
these days, but it's worth a try!
Your success no matter which method you choose, shall depend a great
deal on just what kind of weeds you are trying to deal with and how
long they've been there.
Sod in the compost big if the bin truly heats and composts, will
compost well. One time I saw a method listed to take any removed sod
and stack it grass side down, as neatly as you can, and then water it
and cover it well with black plastic ..don't let light in anywhere.
This should be in an area where the sun can hit the plastic, heating
it up, killing the grass, and you'll have nice loam soil after a few
months. That keeps the grass from growing in your compost bin if it's
just a pile of garden refuse that seldom heats or gets turned.. like
mine! ;-D I'd make sure any sod already in your bin gets covered well
to exclude light, and it should die and rot and any organisms in the
sod will help fuel the beasties that live in the bin. ;-)
No such thing as easy sod remmoval unless you have a powered sod
cutter. I just finished removing sod to make new beds for the wifes
flowers, and it was tought going and far from a breeze. Removed
centipede in those areas and in some other areas bahia grass. It does
help a lot if the soil is somewhat damp and moist but not soaking wet.
I find a square mouth shovel works best for my type soils (no rocks or
gravel at all)
Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com
Opinions expressed are those of my wifes,
I had no input whatsoever.
Remove "nospam" from email addy.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.