How to start a garden where grass is currently

growjezibelsgrow(5)August 11, 2008

Im going to start a large garden (20 x 60) for planting next spring.

What is the best way to start one where grass is currently.

Should I lay wet newspaper down over the grass then mulch on top of it to kill the grass then rototill it in the spring? Or just turn it over this fall then rototill it in the spring?

For walkways should i lay down black plastic then mulch or newspaper then mulch?

thanks a bunch!

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Correction I just measured site, its 20 x 30'.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 3:50PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

it depends, are you going to till and row it up or are you going to do a raised bed?

for raised beds, you don't need to do anything.

for row/till methods whatever works for you. you cna mulch it now, then pull it off and till it in spring. or you cna just till it a few times come spring. just keep in mind that every time you till you bring new weed seeds to the surface. most of the folks here who have picture perfect gardens will tell you that you MUST till it several times at least a week apart. many actually till it and row it up in the fall, let it sit all winter, then come spring mulch it BEFORE the weeds start growing and then plant. you want to leave the soil as undisturbed as possible to cut down on fresh weeds.

if your soil requires a lot of amendments, youmay want to add some in now, then do it again in the spring.

i don't mulch my paths, though many do. my FIL had best results using black plastic on his rows. he had very few weeds every time he used it. what he did was build his row, lay out a soaker hose on top of it, then cover with BP. i use the same general method last year, but i mulched with newspaper. i had a lot fewer weeds last year than i did this year with no mulch/cover.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:32PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

Your plan sounds fine. Rototill the first time in the fall. Repeat in the spring.

I just did this, only a small 4 x 8 foot garden, but I did it by hand. I turned over the earth in the fall, repeat in spring while pulling dead weeds out of the clumps.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:40AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I would, for whatever that's worth, turn it over and till sometime later.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:44AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Lasagna beds is the way to rototill, no weeds come to the surface....and everything grows like gang busters.
To put it simply, you lay newspaper over the grass, pile on organic matter...both greens and browns, water water, mulch and plant.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: lasagna gardening

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I take a knife and cut thru the grass in that area and pull it up. I'll assume the spot is in the back yard since its rather large.

As to what type of composting to get organic material, that probably depends on your experience. If you have made hot compost piles, I'd do that. I would make a number of 4' to 5' diameter piles 24" high, since that is my standard compost pile. On the spot you intend to use as a garden spot. If you have made lasagna or interbay type mounds in the past, you probably want to do that.

What materials you can use may affect your planning. I can secure 100# of used coffee grounds and 400# of veggie waste a week if I wish. Leaves are still available here since the tree shed their leaves so late this year.

But all this depends on how good your soil is in the first place.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I would also endorse the lasagne method, it's truly amazing and very easy to do (time consuming to collect enough material if you have a big area) but well worth the effort. I would just say ONE THING, listen amount of lasagne coverage will eliminate lawn that has bermuda grass in it. It is impossible to kill it that way, in fact it will not only trive underneath your cardboard, but it will laugh at you as it pokes its head up in the middle of your garden, as you try to pull it up and it's like a 3 foot long runners.

thats my experience with it.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 4:08PM
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