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New raised bed,,,,,do I HAVE to dig up the sod?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by 'Sparagus on May 11, 2006 07:44 AM
Please say no...please say no... [angel]

Seriously, Im feeling really lazy today. I have a new 4'x4' bed I built, a driveway full of topsoil, and Im tempted to just plop the thing down and fill it up.

If I put down newspaper first, would that be ok? What are the dangers of not digging up the grass? Wont all the soil on top of it kill it anyway? [dunno]

Thanks for the input!

[flower] Karen
by SpringFever on May 11, 2006 07:46 AM
How tall is it Karen?? if it pretty deep I think it will kill the grass..

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by 'Sparagus on May 11, 2006 08:08 AM
It's 14" actually, deeper than I thought! I do have to dig holes for the legs to go in the ground anyway. It's so hot out there today! [flower]
by johnCT on May 11, 2006 08:48 AM
The soil will most likely kill the turf due to lack of light, but I usually throw newspaper on top of it first. Adds OM to the soil anyway.

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John - Zone 6
by Longy on May 11, 2006 10:56 AM
Put down some pelletized manure , also use some gypsum if your subsoil is clay based. Then cover with newspaper about 10 sheets thick. Don't leave any gaps. If the grass is a runner type it will come thru if there are gaps.
The chicken manure will replace nitrogen that the rotting grass will burn up and the gypsum will break the clay, helping bacteria and earthworms to move in.
Also, it's a great idea to get some organic matter into your topsoil. Adding some sheep manure as you go will be a great start. It can be used fresh. Also, add a half a shovel full of chicken manure pellets per wheelbarrow to the topsoil as you go. Leave a few inches at the top of the bed for mulch if you need it and also, so you can add to the bed over time.

Do you know the Ph of the topsoil? If you can find that out, either by testing or ringing the supplier, it will be agreat time to ammend it if necessary.

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The secret is the soil.
by 'Sparagus on May 11, 2006 01:11 PM
[Frown] Ok Longy, now my head is spinning! [Big Grin]

Actually I got a yard of screened topsoil and a yard of their special pro mix, which has good stuff in it, and I saved most of that for the raised bed. Also adding my own compost [clappy]

Thanks for all the suggestions! I think it may be easier to just take the stuff off. I got the bed set in the ground, so maybe tomorrow Ill be more motavated to dig!

[flower] Karen
by johnCT on May 12, 2006 12:31 AM
Best thing to do is to just turn the sod over and leave it there if you choose to dig it up Karen. Sounds like you're gonna be off to a good start with the nice soil.

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John - Zone 6
by ChristinaC on May 12, 2006 02:28 AM
4x4 really isn't that much to dig. We dug one last weekend that was 20x4 (approx.) and we had it done within' a couple hours, and there was even a beer break (or 2 [Embarrassed] ) in there. [thumb]

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by 'Sparagus on May 12, 2006 04:05 AM
LOL Christina, you are right, it's tiny compared to all the sod I dug up expanding my veggie garden. The problem is, my raised bed is outside of our fenced yard, and I have a little 16 month old helper that likes to try to wander away when we are out it's like this.....1-2 shovels, run to grab the babe, another shovel or two....."WAIT! Come back here!!" and repeat!

I do get plenty done "after hours" when she is in bed, it's still light out....and a beer or two! [muggs]

Karen [flower]

ps John, I ended up doing a combo of digging it out, turning it over, and putting down newspaper! And of course it's supposed to rain today!
by johnCT on May 12, 2006 04:25 AM
Ouch, 16 months is a tough age. Not much listening or sitting still going on at that point.

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John - Zone 6
by Longy on May 12, 2006 02:59 PM
I got a yard of screened topsoil and a yard of their special pro mix, which has good stuff in it, and I saved most of that for the raised bed. Also adding my own compost
Well, if you have good quality garden soil and compost to put in there, and you don't want to dig, you can just bury the existing grass with the newspaper and fill it up.
(But that bit of chicken manure under the newspaper really does make a difference later.)

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The secret is the soil.
by 'Sparagus on May 13, 2006 06:30 AM
The idea of pelleted chicken manure grosses me out so much [scaredy] probably because I have a pet bird and come in contact with her poop PLENTY without having to buy it too [Big Grin]

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