Print This Page

Remove Grass to Start a Garden


How to Remove Grass to Start a Garden

This question is asked quite frequently by listeners on my radio show and incoming questions to my website. Here is the plan:

Remove the existing grass by scraping it away to depth of 2". It can be done by hand, but it's best to have a contractor do it with a sod cutter. Do not till before removing the sod or there will be a huge weed problem forever. Tilling first drives the stems of the grass down into the ground, and the stems are the reproductive part of the grass.

Another method is to solarize the existing grass. Wet the area and cover with clear plastic tucked in securely around the edges. For best results, redo the entire process after about three weeks. Even in this case, the dead grass stubble should be raked off before adding the amendments.

Next, add the following amendments and till into the native soil to a depth of 6" - 8":
  • 6" of compost
  • 1 - 2" of expanded shale
  • lava sand at 100 lbs. per 1000 square feet
  • greensand at 40 lbs. per 1000 square feet
  • alfalfa meal at 20 lbs. per 1000 square feet
  • dry molasses at 20 lbs. per 1000 square feet
  • horticultural cornmeal at 20 lbs. per 1000 square feet
Natural stone walls

Excellent beds at the Texas Discovery Gardens.
Natural stone walls and native mulch for the walks.

Cinder block walls have many uses

Cinder block walls have many uses.

Also, I do not recommend using wood for retaining walls. If there are not enough toxic chemicals to keep the wood from rotting, it will rot and have to be redone. If enough toxic chemicals exist to prevent rotting, the site and your vegetables and herbs will be toxic. Concrete or real stone works better, lasts forever and is non-toxic. Cinder blocks are the most economical. They can also be moved if the bed shape or size needs to be changed.

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show.The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett


  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns