I bought something called the "Hula-ho" at my local hardware
store/garden center. The garden center guy told me it was also called
a "skimmer". I said I wanted something to remove strips of sod (grass
w/roots, not commercially-bought "sod").
It's effectively a rectangular-shaped ribbon of metal on a long wooden
handle. The home page is here:
I can't quite figure out how it works. I'm trying to remove a strip of
sod along my fence line, and it just doesn't catch down under teh
roots, no matter how deep I try to press it in with my foot.
Is this one of those lawn implements that doesn't actually 'work', or,
do I just need to be more determined?
This tool is designed for weeding/cultivating soft soil, not for removing
sod. I have a Lee Valley sod lifter for that purpose. It also is great for
establishing and maintaining edges of planting beds. I would recommend that
you take a look: http://tinyurl.com/2c8j2
This is mostly called an "action hoe". So-called because it cuts on both
the front and back stroke. You can use it to cultivate, weed, or edge.
Basically you put it in front of you with the blade down and pull until
it's a couple of inches in, then pull level to rip up whatever's on top.
You then can remove it or break it up.
I said I wanted something to remove strips of sod (grass
Do you want to *keep* the strips, or just make a neat edge for the
planting bed? For the latter it should work fine, for the former you may
want a real sod cutter (you step on it and cut straight down, then go
under the sod as with a piece of cake).
I went back to my garden center and they took back the hula-ho and
sold me a basic spade, instead (which I expect that I would find more
generally useful even if I'm having trouble using it with this grass).
The guy at the garden center told me that my soil needed to be softer
to use the hula-ho.
I don't want to keep the sod, I just want to remove it.
It's a case of selling you a scuffle hoe instead of a sod cutter.
Take it back unless you want to use it for its intended purpose of
scraping back and forth to weed out seedling weeds not tough perennial
weeds or to cut sod.. that will just break it.
How much sod do you need to cut? You can use an old serrated blade
knife, or an old knife of any kind. I just did a search on "sod
cutters" and the first one was a device you could use as an edger you
stepped on and pressed with heel or toe, and you could pull it toward
you to cut after it was down into the soil.. $34.95 plus $7.95 or
something like that shipping, another "sod cutter" was an extremely
serrated with wide teeth.. that looked like a hunting knife in the
grip and length.. but with big gaped teeth to tear through sod and
I wouldn't invest in any expensive tools if you are just going to cut
out a small amount of grass..you can use a shovel .. just plunge it
into the ground over and over along the line where you want to remove
it and pry it up..knock the dirt loose from the sod that you pull up
.. or.. use an old serrated knife.. if you don't have one go to a
thrift store, they have tons of junk knives and buy the sturdiest
meanest looking one you can find and use that to just cut the dirt off
the sod, or sod off the dirt..whichever way you want to look at it,
and if it's really sturdy, you can just cut the sod out to begin with
in chunks if you don't mind getting down on your hands and knees to do
so. Personally, I'd use the shovel for as much as you could, knock
the dirt off and toss the remains into a heavy duty black plastic bag
(double bag if you don't trust its strength.. set that up into a wheel
barrow or cart .. as it will get heavy and put that sod you pull out
into it (if you don't need it elsewhere) and when you get done, or the
bag is pretty full, wheel it over to an out of the way area or by your
compost bin, and put it down on the ground, close up the sack and let
it compost in there until the grass is dead and broken down and you
can't tell it was there. At that point you have a nice loam to use
wherever you want.
The dirt you knock off or cut off goes into the area the grass came
from so that it won't be so deep... and you don't need to go very deep
to pry up the grass.
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