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Mounding with overturned sod

Posted by galenaz 8 / AZ (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 15:50

Hello Lovely Garden Web members,

We recently removed 900+ sq ft of dead sod. By dead I mean we turned the sprinklers off. I have no idea what type of grass it was since we just bought the house 3 months ago. I had read online it could be turned over and used to make mounds in landscapes. But have been unable to find how you do this.

We have it in a pile in our front yard because it came out in chunks and could not be rolled up and taken out like I thought - gotta love the clay soil of Arizona.

Hauling it away is quite the pricey, as I am sure you know.

I am wondering 2 things:
1) Has anyone done this before? Make mounds out of overturned sod
2) Can I plant in the mound? The roots of the grass are keeping the pieces together so not sure if this is "good" soil to plant desert adapted plants in.

Any links, input would be GREATLY appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mounding with overturned sod

In a history course many decades ago we were taught that homesteaders used upside-down- sod like we use seed starting cubes.

RE: Mounding with overturned sod

you def can do it. search for 'sod walls' - that's a traditional way of construction on the plains in old days.
basically you need to lay the sod strips like bricks, overlapping the seams. and push them back to create the slope.
you can turn them upside down - the grass will compost in about a year.
you could also build a raised bed with sod walls and fill it. you can create a lasagna-style compost bed and have it ready next year.
british golf links were often constructed with sod-wall bunkers - can search for that, as as far as laying it,etc.
it needs to be very firm - you might need to level it between sev courses. and may be staple it with stakes in some places to prevent shifting.
you might be better off asking in permaculture forum and reading up on hugelkultur beds

here's quote from 'historic docs'

Plowed bricks 'prairie marble' were laid in masonry fashion grass side down, the first layer typically on undisturbed soil that had been cleared and leveled. Walls were commonly built two bricks wide with staggered joints and bond courses. Each course was leveled with soil. The use of lumber as a leveling device near midwall became a prominent part of the evolved technology.
Sod wall , sometimes called  revetment bunkering  construction, is a lot like making lasagna, where layer by layer of  cut sod is stacked and pasted together. ...with the purpose of constructing a  wall of sod that can withstand the effects of water over time. Typically highly pitched or slanted areas wear dramatically during big storms , as anyone who worked around a golf course can attest to after a heavy rain.

Revetment is  French in origin,  and  basically refers to a retaining wall made of earthen material , the rooting of the grass binds the wall , much like a tie rod might be used. 

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