killing grass after tilling

jane2009February 9, 2009

My husband, the nice guy he is, decided he would give me a head start and till the vegetable garden not understanding that the grass had to be removed first. Is there a way to kill it without tilling it over and over for a year now? I will rake it out if I must, but short from that is there anything I can do?

Any help will be appreciated......


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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

Jane2009, I don't know the type or quantity of sod/grass that was on the surface prior to tilling. But I'm thinking that waiting a few weeks (to allow the grass to decompose) and then tilling again might be the best option.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:43PM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

I think getting rid of the grass is the worst part of starting a new garden area, and since we like to add on every year we always have to deal with your problem. Hopefully this year will be easier for us though since we will be getting a tiller for our tractor and I figure we will be able to till it a lot more since it will be faster that doing it with a regular tiller.

Anyhow I wish I could offer you more advice, but the only thing that I could suggest that works for us is if you do like grandad mentioned and them rake the clumps in your walkway and the good dirt where you will be planting.

Good luck and hopefully some others will have more advice.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:25PM
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Cover the area with black plastic, or use newspaper or other heavy mulch. Depending on the weather, the grass will be dead in a month or so. This assumes that the grass was growing before it was tilled. If it was dormant, and if the weather is cold, it's going to take a lot longer to kill it.

I do not like the idea of removing the sod before tilling. The sod is the best part of the soil profile. It's full of humus and nutrients. I always till it in.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:57PM
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You can kill the grass the same way you were intending to.

You can smother it with cardboard and or newspaper right now if you like. If you were going to spray it then you are going to have to wait until it starts to grow again and then spray it.

Most of the time tilling twice kills it though. Just wait a couple weeks so most of the grass is dead and the stuff that survives shows itself.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:57PM
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What I do is poke in a few flags at the corners, rent a sod remover and build a raised bed. You CAN till, (depending on what soil is), but I just amend after I setup the boards.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Good advice above unless it's bermuda grass you're dealing with. If it is, the only way to get rid of it that I've found is solarizing the soil. I don't think tilling the soil first will affect the efficacy of doing that.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:35PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

if it is bermuda it will still come back, bermuda spreads easily. i know, i fight it every year in my garden. i have actually decided this year to move my garden to a new area tha thas not been used in several years, simply because there is a good 100 buffer zone in all directions with no bermuda!

other than that, just retill in a couple weeks or spray it with RU once the new starts to come up.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Thank you all for your timely and sound advice. My husband said he will use a rake dethatcher and pull some of the grass out for me. I will do as others said and till a couple more times and just wait to amend until then. I have learned some new things just from these responses alone! Thanks

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:48PM
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