what to do with old sod?

wild4wildlifeMarch 18, 2005

removed a 20ft x 3 ft area of sod today in our yard, put them in numerous plastic bags and i was wondering is there any use for it? it has alot of soil stuck on the bottom of the sod too. came up like one huge carpet runner.

will it break down in the bag and i can use it as mulch? or will it just regrow and become grass again if i add it back to the bed?

any tips on an easier way of removing this stuff? my plan is to have just a large circle of grass and the rest removed so i can do planting. but after today the idea seems way to hard.

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jimster(z7a MA)

I would make a compost pile of the sod and add other material to it. The sod buried in the pile will die and decompose.

Producers of sod have a machine to peel the layer of sod from the ground. I don't know if it is possible to rent such a machine, but it would work well.

Another possiblity is to rent a reseeding machine. These machines cut through the sod in closely spaced parallet lines to allow for overseeding a lawn. They also spread the seed but you wouldn't use any. I know these machines are rentable. Whether it would ease your task is another story.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 5:38PM
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Kelly_Slocum(sw WA state)

Sod composting is actually a fairly common practice and produces a LOVELY material that can be used in planting mixes and in the garden. Sod composting is often accomplished separate from the standard compost pile, and starts by laying the first layer of sod strips grass side down soil side up. The next layer of sod is laid on top of the first, soil side down and grass side up, and the next, grass side down and soil side up. Alternate in this way unitl all of the sod is formed into a pile. Cover the pile with ancored black plastic and allow it to sit. Decomposition is a long process, taking two to three years, but the resulting compost has lovely structure.

I currently have a one year old four by eight foot sod pile behind my garden shed, having just converted a large chunk of my lawn to planting beds. I can't wait to use the finished product!!

Kelly S

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 4:01PM
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2 to 3 yrs? lol
i cant look at a trash heap for three years hehe
anyone want some sod?
can i set fire to it? hmm, no that doesnt sound right.
can i put it in the basement to decompose?
well there in big garbage bags now so when its garbage day ill just put out one bag at a time until its gone.
and theres more sod removal later today, ill be up to may armpits in sod by then.
wish i had a spot for a compost pile but i really dont

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 4:33PM
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SandiBluffs(z4 WI)

Consider placing the sod on just one end of your garden bed. You could make a raised bed at that spot. Plant veggies (squash, melons, gourds, potatoes)or other plants which don't require crumbly soil. Cover the "raised bed" sod with plastic if you are worried about regrowth.


Put a sign up in your front yard: FREE SOD
Many people need to fill in spots in their lawns at this time of year.

The bagged sod should break down over the summer in the heat. It should be good to use by Fall. Another idea. Many people compost their leaves like this.

I saw another idea where you can start your squash, melon, etc. large seeds in sod cubes. Cut the cube into a square and plant the seed in the bottom of the cube--grass side down. SB

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 3:39PM
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frugal_gary(alvin tx)

I am making a flower bed 60 foot long by my new fence I am going to build. I took up an 8 inch stip of sod where the actual fence will be.I used a string, an 8 inch by 8 foot peice of plywood ,2 bolts 1foot long, an old skill saw and a WHACKY imagination!I used the string to mark the edge then layed the plywood down on the sod with one edge in line with the string. I had drilled a one half inch hole in each end of the ply which I pushed the bolts thru into the ground to hold it into place. Next I used my saw at full depth to cut the sod down each side of the plywood. Then I pulled the bolts and moved the plywood down and repeated. I used a flat shovel 7 inches wide and removed the sod. it made a perfectly strait strip of desodded lawn 8 inches wide. After I build my fence I will cut the other border of the bed and remove the rest of the sod. 1. An old saw which will never be the same after cuting dirt. 2.BE VERY CAREFULL USE SAFTEY GLASSES

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 12:27AM
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I have built a 2-foot high stone wall across the middle of a small lawn. I dug a trench in the grass and made a bed for the wall. I have lots of lumps of sod I dug up plus there is grass growing begind the wall. Can't I just distribute the lumps of sod around the bottom of the garden (on top of the grass still in place) and them put topsoil on top of it? Won't it just decompose in place? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 5:29PM
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1: RENT a sod cutter, if you have a pile to do. It's quick work.

2: Yes it'll break down slowly, just upside down somewhere.

3: As a weed barrier, upside down, it's great.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:44PM
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Instead of digging up the sod, why not make a lasagna bed? Less work and better soil for a garden. And if you need to you can plant right away. You can do a search on the soil forum. There are hundreds of postings on how to do it. I cut the sod out and used it in the lasagna bed, but you can put it right on top of the grass if you want. Here is a link to a lasagna bed I made this spring and planted right away.


Here is a link that might be useful: lasagna bed

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 12:13AM
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If you all find some more try this ,would love to have one.

Here is a link that might be useful: sod couch

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 7:43PM
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