killing grass-plant veggie garden

greengrass12(5)August 14, 2008

I would like to plant a veggie garden where grass is now actively growing. I would like to get kill the grass without having to dig up and get rid of 3 or 4 inches of sod. Some have recommended 8 or 10 sheets of newspaper to accomplish this. My question is how long would this process take? If I covered the area by the end of the month would the grass be somthered and composted by next spring in time for growing veggies. I know I'm leaving myself open being that my moniker is greengrass. Thanks.

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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Yup. newspapers work well. Though I would cover the newspaper with mulch or shredded leaves...

When I start or expand a new garden plot, I section off the area with a chicken wire and then I fill it in the fall with about 4' deep of leaves and grass clippings. In the spring, the depth has compacted to maybe a foot or less. Then I run over it with the lawn mower, to chop everything up. I might find a few strands of some rhizomatous grass alive, but not many and they pull up real easy. Then I plant right into the mulch. Sometimes I have to overturn a small slit for the planting rows. But generally it works great. No sod removal, no tilling...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Look into lasagna gardening or sheet composting.

Basically putting down layers of newspaper or cardboard and covering over with lots of layers of mulch materials and compost materials. This is how all my gardens have been getting done lately.

Now if you have really aggressive types of grass (gator grass is a pain for us) you might have it re-invade but that is the situation with most weeds. So if you have really aggressive grass and are planning on turning the plot into a fancy perennial flower bed (as in something that will be difficult to weed in the future around the rocks and flowers), then you might want to remove the grass more throughly before going on. If this is for a veggie garden, then the lasagna method works great. It is also a very good way to get lots of organic material into your soil which is a good thing for gardening.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:08PM
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You might want to kill of the grass a little further out than actually intended to give yourself some cushion against re-invasion. Also, make sure there are no gaps where you smother (sounds obvious but easy to mess up) and weight down the newspaper well, especially at the edges. Old 2 x 4's and the like can be helpful with this. monitor for tears and wind displacement. Cut the grass extremely short before you do anything else. I think you will be nice and ready by spring.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Thanks for the responses. Would it be a good idea to turn over the sod first and get the grass buried and then put newspaper down? I'm not loking for additional work but this is for my daughter so the primary objective is to plant her veg garden in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:52AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I wouldn't bother turning the sod over, too much work...its not necessary.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:32AM
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If you are just looking for a small veg garden for your daughter and want minimal work fighting the grass/weeds, i would recommend you build a 3x3 or 4x4 raised bed about 10 - 12 inches tall and fill it with a good topsoil and compost from your local nursery/store. Put down news paper or a good quality weed barrier cloth under the box to prevent the grass from growinng up through the bottom. Having done this myself, it has been a dream only having five or six weeds each year.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:27AM
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Laying down some newspaper, covered with something to hold it in place and hide it, as well as to keep the paper from blowing away, over that grass will kill the grass and allow the soil bacteria to work it into the soil where it will help provide some of the necessary organic matter. I find that it takes about 8 weeks, around here, for a new plot formed this way to be ready to be planted, depending on how active a Soil Food Web you have. Doing this now will give you plenty of time to 1. kill the grass, 2. have a good, reliable soil test done, 3. make any adjustments your soil may need to get that plot ready to plant next spring.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 7:31AM
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as said, make sure you use plenty of newspaper and mulch.

i recently made a side walk lined with newspaper, didn't have enough so only used one or two sheets thick, the weeds popped through it like it was a joke.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:47AM
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