General Discussion:

Starting a shrub bed over sod


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Lisa28-Mar-01 07:20 PM EST   
Connie28-Mar-01 07:33 PM EST   
Linda29-Mar-01 01:11 AM EST   
Kelly29-Mar-01 07:12 AM EST   
The Budding Poet ....... ..............Zn4b29-Mar-01 10:51 AM EST   
Deirdre29-Mar-01 01:09 PM EST   
The Budding Poet29-Mar-01 02:00 PM EST   
Ed29-Mar-01 03:21 PM EST   
b29-Mar-01 06:05 PM EST   
Kathryn 30-Mar-01 02:32 AM EST   
glen30-Mar-01 02:47 PM EST   
Joanne01-Apr-01 01:33 PM EST   
Kirsten05-Apr-01 12:00 PM EST   
The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b06-Apr-01 02:50 AM EST   
The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST   
The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST   
The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST   
David09-Apr-01 05:23 AM EST   
liz15-Apr-01 05:19 PM EST   


Subject: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Lisa
Zone:
Date: 28-Mar-01 07:20 PM EST

I was wondering if anyone out there has tried covering sod thickly with newspaper and then applying about 50 cm of topsoil to create a bed? Sure would save alot of time/effort without digging out the existing sod. Supposedly the sod and newspaper will compost.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Connie
Zone:
Date: 28-Mar-01 07:33 PM EST

Great idea.....we just completed digging up a huge section of sod and have one more section to go....if you find out your suggestion works, will you drop me a line to confirm... Thanks, Connie


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Linda
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 01:11 AM EST

Removing sod is always a horrible job but I question if the roots could or would grow through the newspaper. They won't if the paper is thick, or if it dries out. Often we get the best results by doing it properly first.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Kelly
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 07:12 AM EST

I have heard that this method will work if you use a thick layer of newspaper - ie >15 sheets thick. I have also read that you can use cardboard to do the same job. I would doubt that the sod could grow through 50 cm of topsoil.

I have used newspaper on a garden, underneath a layer of mulch, to prevent weeds - with much success.

Good luck


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet ....... ..............Zn4b
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 10:51 AM EST

Lisa

This can get a bit messy if you are planting the shrubs shortly after you construct your bed. You will have to dig holes through the sod and paper to make room for the root balls of your new shrubs. The grass may also grow out around the perimeter of your bed unless you remove a strip of sod ~one foot wide.

This "BEDS TO GROW" method works great for new flower beds if you can plant annuals the first year. I have used this method for local beautification projects, personal and commercial installations and can offer these suggestions. Flip the strip of sod that you remove from around the perimeter into the center of the bed. Add a few inches of organic matter, your compost, manure, etc., Rake it roughly smooth! Top with WET newspaper so you are not chasing it all over the neighborhood. Next add a few inches of topsoil and you have a good raised flower bed. By planting annuals the first year you let the earthworms work their magic and assure youself that all the grass has been killed. The following year, check the lovely texture of the soil and plant your perennials.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Deirdre
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 01:09 PM EST

I have recently read several articles recommending the news- paper-over-sod trick. Most suggested a thick (up to 1") layer of newspaper, dampened between layers, then a layer of organic material if you have it, i.e. leaves, compost, then about 2" of soil. Wait about 6-8 weeks before planting. I would like any suggestion for getting cheap or free soil -I started as a new gardener last year, including digging new beds, and found the cost of constantly having to buy soil prohibitive.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 02:00 PM EST

Deidre

If you think soil costs are prohibitive, wait until you see the chiropractors bill! If you have the time and a good back you can build up almost any soil to a good garden loam using all your own compost and any organic matter you can garner from your neighbours. If time is of the essence and you factor in an hourly wage, 'Beds to Grow'is very cost effective. It also has the one great advantage; it leaves the sod in situ. You would not believe the number of homeowners that discard it or pay to have it trucked away when they are landscaping.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Ed
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 03:21 PM EST

Planting annuals the first season makes good sense to me. However if shrubs or perennials are to go in immediately I would simply dig the bed spade by deep spade,making certain that the turf ends up at the very bottom With a little practise this is readily accomplised. Added compost is always desirable but if neither it nor additional topsoil are available,proceed with planting, again assuring that any turf that surfaces in the process ( as it surely will) goes back to the bottom of each individual hole where it soon ends up as compost I have done this repeatedly and successfully over many years.Might add that this assumes the sod is on a reasonable depth of good soil in the first place.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: b
Zone:
Date: 29-Mar-01 06:05 PM EST

this is a great method the only way i start a new bed for the last 10 years i do cut away the sod to edge 8-10 inches wide. the heat that the sod gives off as it decomposes is great for establishing roots no way would i remove sod!


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Kathryn
Zone:
Date: 30-Mar-01 02:32 AM EST

I have handled planting over sod in various ways - the first time I did this I put 6 inches (or so) wood chips directly over grass around mature shrubs- I knew that there was a possibliy that I'd have to use extra fertilizer so that nutrients weren't depleted , so, I observed and the shrubs were not affected - in time the wood chips decomposed and in subsequent years the shrub island has come into its own- there are plenty of scratching spots beneath for song sparrows and the like and it's where I plant spring bulbs. Last year I needed to widen beds to accommodate extensive garden moving so, I prepared the areas the fall before by putting down a barrier of cardboard with leaves overtop- in places weighting down the leaves with soil or twigs (for over the winter). In the spring I dug through the leaf layer, into the rotting cardboard and smothered grass beneath and successfully transplanted perennials and clumps of self-sown seedlings. I put compost over the leaves and left everything to take care of itself. Everything thrived- this was on clay-loam. This method is easy on the back!


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: glen
Zone:
Date: 30-Mar-01 02:47 PM EST

I basically wanted to keep my shrub bed the same height as the lawn, maybe a bit higher. I did a combination of removing sod and the newspaper method. I couldn't wait to plant my shrub, so I took away a square of sod approximately 18 inches by 18 inches. I then dug here, dug out the soil, modified the soil how I wanted to, and planted the shrub. I planted it a bit higher than normal, as I knew I would be adding a bit more soil later on and raising the level of the bed. In the area around this shrub, it was still green grass. I therefore laid newspapers down and put soil on top to smother the grass. The end result was a new nicely black bed with a shrub already planted in the center. I think I want to try the newspaper method this spring, in an area where the weeds have taken over, putting paper down and perhaps a bit of new topsoil.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Joanne
Zone:
Date: 01-Apr-01 01:33 PM EST

I hate digging out sod, its back-breaking work and time consuming shaking the soil free from the sod. I created a new bed simply by placing used flagstone pieces and large rocks in the shape I desired, then covered the sod with a foot (12")or more of good soil & manure.(no newspaper at all) I planted bulbs inside the area & mother of thyme, hens & chicks, creeping sedum & such into the rock crevices. This worked out just fine. Just yesterday I laid a thick layer approx. 1/2" of newspaper on an area I want to rid of grass, then I shoveled about one foot of snow on top. Hopefully it will kill the grass before the snow melts and when it warms up abit this April I will pile on some new soil & amende with rotted manure and plant the area. If that doesent work out then I'll start a pathway of some kind. Any ideas on that ?


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: Kirsten
Zone:
Date: 05-Apr-01 12:00 PM EST

Budding Poet, the method you suggest above 'beds to grow' could that also be used in a veggie garden? How long before planting any veggies?


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b
Zone:
Date: 06-Apr-01 02:50 AM EST

Kirsten

As long as no one has been pouring weed killers on the lawn you can make and plant your veggie bed this spring. It would have been better if you had built it last fall so the earthworms and micro-organisms could have done their thing. Your root crops may be a little thwarted this year. Don't expect any three foot carrots. Your tomatoes, etc., should grow spectacularly. A "Sweet One Million" cherry tomato planted in a similar bed out grew three five foot high cages placed one on top of each other. I almost needed a CHERRY picker to pick them.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b
Zone:
Date: 06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST

Kirsten

As long as no one has been pouring weed killers on the lawn you can make and plant your veggie bed this spring. It would have been better if you had built it last fall so the earthworms and micro-organisms could have done their thing. Your root crops may be a little thwarted this year. Don't expect any three foot carrots. Your tomatoes, etc., should grow spectacularly. A "Sweet One Million" cherry tomato planted in a similar bed out grew three five foot high cages placed one on top of each other. I almost needed a CHERRY picker to pick them.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b
Zone:
Date: 06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST

Kirsten

As long as no one has been pouring weed killers on the lawn you can make and plant your veggie bed this spring. It would have been better if you had built it last fall so the earthworms and micro-organisms could have done their thing. Your root crops may be a little thwarted this year. Don't expect any three foot carrots. Your tomatoes, etc., should grow spectacularly. A "Sweet One Million" cherry tomato planted in a similar bed out grew three five foot high cages placed one on top of each other. I almost needed a CHERRY picker to pick them.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: The Budding Poet ......................Zn4b
Zone:
Date: 06-Apr-01 03:02 AM EST

Kirsten

As long as no one has been pouring weed killers on the lawn you can make and plant your veggie bed this spring. It would have been better if you had built it last fall so the earthworms and micro-organisms could have done their thing. Your root crops may be a little thwarted this year. Don't expect any three foot carrots. Your tomatoes, etc., should grow spectacularly. A "Sweet One Million" cherry tomato planted in a similar bed out grew three five foot high cages placed one on top of each other. I almost needed a CHERRY picker to pick them.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: David
Zone:
Date: 09-Apr-01 05:23 AM EST

I have done several beds using newspaper to kill the sod and weeds. I use only 4 to 6 sheet thickness. The big advantage using newspaper instead of other barriers is that it will rot away after it has killed the sod. When I have used greater thicknesses of paper it will quite often not rot away for several years (or longer). Newspapers have been dug up in garbage dumps after 40 years and were still readable. Even comparatively small plants will sent their roots down several feet. This would be blocked by an overly thick layer of paper.


Subject: RE: Starting a shrub bed over sod
From: liz
Zone:
Date: 15-Apr-01 05:19 PM EST

I have a large area behind a garage that has 3 mature maples and one mature cherry tree on it. (approx 300 sq. ft.) It is just grass now and I would like to turn it into a shade, woodland area. My husband would like to know if we could spray round-up on it and then use a cultivator to work it up . I would like to put a lot of mulch around and gradually plant shrubs( rhodos, sumac etc) Will this method work? Please help!!


In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row