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best way to dig up old sod?

Posted by DaisyADayInOregon NW USA (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 27, 03 at 16:19

I'm trying to add a flower bed and dry river bed to an area that is now covered with unhealthy sod. I don't want to cover it and work on top of the grass because it will make the area too high and will cause probs with runoff onto the sidewalk & driveway. I guess I need to peel up the sod if that is possible. Any ideas??? Thanks tons. Kim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

I've done quite a bit of this with a good shovel. Peel the sod onto a tarp and drag it away. Easier than lift into barrow. Best after a day of rain. THat's my hard-workin' amateur answer.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

Thanks! So what do you use to peel up the sod? A shovel or hoe? I'm truly clueless. Is it really hard to do?


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

Get an edging shovel. It is a flat shovel and a good tool man at Lowes or any good hardware store will know what it is. Have the blade sharpened where it will slide under the sod and lift it. But first take the shovel and cut the sod into squares and then lift it right up with the shovel.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

Use a pick and shovel. I've made dozens of garden beds from lawns. Cut the sod with a regular long-handled pointed shovel in rows and pull up the sod with the broad side of a pick-ax. A rounded shovel cuts into the sod way easier than a flat ended one. This takes a tenth of the time and energy of using a spade, sod cutter, etc.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

hi daisy
dig and turn over the sod. it makes good humus, the odd clumps that grow just pick out.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

If it's a large area rent a sod cutter at a rental shop or a box store. It takes 1/10th the time and energy and you'll have that garden done in no time.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

The easiest way I have found is to till the top couple of inches then just rake it up.


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

Rent a sod cutter! AFter two hours of digging I was so discouraged at how little I had accomplished. SOd cutter was like magic, super fast and easy to use. Worth every penny to rent!
Had tried to rototill, but sod was too hard and too much work.l


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RE: best way to dig up old sod?

All of these ideas sound useful.
I dug up the front lawn this year the hard way , that is I cut squares out of the sod ( beig careful not to damage the Silver Maple roots running through it) then sat around shaking the soil out depositing the remaining tufts into the municipal bin ( no room to store).
Apart from getting to enjoy being outside for 3 consecutive weekends from dawn 'til dusk I met all the neighbours as they walked by in disbelief


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