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Old 05-17-2013, 09:35 PM
 
943 posts, read 3,239,943 times
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I want to deepen my garden space area in front of my house as I think the scale was just off and enlarging the space will require me to dig up existing grass. The problem is that the ground below is hard with some rocks and clay. I'm talking about 4+ inches below. I've already dug up some of the areas and planted some shrubs and it took me and hour to dig one hole as the ground was so hard.

What I'm wondering about is weed control for the areas that I'm not putting a plant/shrub (but will be mulched), can I merely dig up the grass, which would be about 2-3 inches and lay a weed barrier with dirt over that to be sufficient enough to keep grass/weeds from growing back? If I have to go deeper to get all the grass roots, I'm gonna: a.) need a month to do this seemingly small project b.) kill my back doing this.

Appreciate any feedback
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:50 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
33,205 posts, read 77,799,400 times
Reputation: 41625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
to deepen my garden space area in front of my house ... will require me to dig up existing grass.
the ground below is hard with some rocks and clay.
1) CUT the sod.
2) Till the exiting soil.
3) Supplement that with manure and good topsoil.
4) Till it all again.

Then start gardening.

Hire out the sod cutting if you need to but get the grass and it's roots out.
Hire out the tilling as well if you need to.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:21 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,971,924 times
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Keep it simple. You don't even need to dig up the existing grass at the edge where you won't be planting anything. Just kill it off. Spray it dead. It should be dead within a week, and decomposed within a month or two. You can put mulch over it and no one will ever know you never dug it up. If you want to trench the edge of the bed, the decomposed dead turf will be easy to flip up.

If you do decide to cut the sod, which I rarely recommend, keep it. Flip it over in that same bed or make a new berm out of it. You maysee some grass resprouting here and there, but just keep spraying it to kill it off. Cut sod is basically compost waiting to happen, and the very best soil we have is a berm made up entirely of our old stripped up back lawn. It's crazy to get rid of it because when you strip up sod, you're also removing topsoil.

I think MrRational is recommending a method that is the most work, and one that I have learned is not the most effective one. In fact, if you had a lot more time to do this project, I would recommend killing off all the grass, even in the areas to be planted, wait for the grass and roots to decompose, and then start tilling and adding compost or other amendments. Don't make it any more difficult than you need to. Prepping garden beds is the least fun part of gardening.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: If liars pants really did catch on fire, watching the news would be a lot more fun.
2,351 posts, read 6,033,990 times
Reputation: 4658
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Keep it simple. You don't even need to dig up the existing grass at the edge where you won't be planting anything. Just kill it off. Spray it dead. It should be dead within a week, and decomposed within a month or two. You can put mulch over it and no one will ever know you never dug it up. If you want to trench the edge of the bed, the decomposed dead turf will be easy to flip up.

If you do decide to cut the sod, which I rarely recommend, keep it. Flip it over in that same bed or make a new berm out of it. You maysee some grass resprouting here and there, but just keep spraying it to kill it off. Cut sod is basically compost waiting to happen, and the very best soil we have is a berm made up entirely of our old stripped up back lawn. It's crazy to get rid of it because when you strip up sod, you're also removing topsoil.

I think MrRational is recommending a method that is the most work, and one that I have learned is not the most effective one. In fact, if you had a lot more time to do this project, I would recommend killing off all the grass, even in the areas to be planted, wait for the grass and roots to decompose, and then start tilling and adding compost or other amendments. Don't make it any more difficult than you need to. Prepping garden beds is the least fun part of gardening.
I agree. Dont make work for yourself.

Id like to add one more step. I would lay down a good thick layer of newspaper before I mulched.
The newspaper will hold moisture and block weeds. It will decompose in a year or so and then you can do another layer and more mulch.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:44 PM
 
2,826 posts, read 2,238,054 times
Reputation: 1007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatergirl View Post
I want to deepen my garden space area in front of my house as I think the scale was just off and enlarging the space will require me to dig up existing grass. The problem is that the ground below is hard with some rocks and clay. I'm talking about 4+ inches below. I've already dug up some of the areas and planted some shrubs and it took me and hour to dig one hole as the ground was so hard.

What I'm wondering about is weed control for the areas that I'm not putting a plant/shrub (but will be mulched), can I merely dig up the grass, which would be about 2-3 inches and lay a weed barrier with dirt over that to be sufficient enough to keep grass/weeds from growing back? If I have to go deeper to get all the grass roots, I'm gonna: a.) need a month to do this seemingly small project b.) kill my back doing this.

Appreciate any feedback
Weed barriers are garbage. They keep weeds out for a few years, then the weeds grow through, and when you try to pull them, you find that the roots break. If it's your own garden, dig them out. It's far easier to weed without all that crap. Dig up those rocks and stack them along the edges (this itself acts as a barrier, but you don't have to dig through it). Get a mattock, it can smash rocks into smaller pieces, and can dig through soil and weeds far better than a hoe. You have a nice clean area, that you can then hand weed whenever it grows back.

Spraying corrupts the water table. It may be simpler, but it makes a mess, and makes you reliant on chemical companies for your gardening (you're gardening, you don't need spray unless maybe you're farming).

Newspaper is good weed-block because it's biodegradable. Black plastic, not so much.

Last edited by bulmabriefs144; 05-20-2013 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:03 PM
 
Location: CA.
185 posts, read 234,189 times
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Yep I like Tina's method best.
I let time and weaTher work for me.
I just collect boxes over the winter & newspapers lay over area needed to expand. Then when it's time to plant order compost. By that time the grass and box / paper material is broken down. I usually add 3" of mushroom compost.

Easy peazy!
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:53 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,111 times
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Thank you, i think it best for my garden
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:30 PM
 
Location: CA.
185 posts, read 234,189 times
Reputation: 92
Hi tintucmoi,

Which one is best for your garen?
See garden pic.
https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0097009/g...371@N05/31gQ89
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