Dixana
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How to add more space with no till????

WELL my hubby had said he would go get his dads tiller again and expand my garden, but it hasn't happened yet!! Seeing as he drives truck OTR and keeps making massive plans for every single day he's home, I've decided to do it myself.
What can I use to remove the grass without a tiller or sod cutter?
A shovel?
Then what do I do with the soil just dump on some compost and plant?
It's only another 8 by 12 section I wanna add it can't be that bad to dig out by hand.......right? :?

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rainbowgardener
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You can remove the sod with just a shovel; I have done it. Not as easily, but can be done. But if you are doing no till you don't even have to remove it. I have turned lawn into flower beds by laying down a bunch of layers of newspaper (cardboard is better) on top of the grass. Soak it well with water, then lay your mixture of soil, compost, whatever on top of that (at least several inches worth) and water well again. If you are planting seeds you can just plant into it. If you are transplanting plants, you probably need to cut a hole through the cardboard so they can root down into the soil below. Once everything is growing add mulch on top.

By next spring the grass and the cardboard will both have disappeared and you will have a nice rich flower/veggie bed.
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Sage Hermit
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What worked really well for me in making the fukaoka no till beds was a flat shovel a pick axe and a hard rake. All you would need is a shovel but I found the pick axe to help free up the sod I was making so I could flip it grass side down. I mowed that area last autumn.
[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba043.jpg[/img]
10 foot long 4 feet wide maybe 2 1/2 feet high

so I carved 2 feet of sod on either end of the bed and flipped the sod face down and with the hard rake smoothed it down in the trenches on the sides.It only took me about a hour to make this. The final steps are to add a layer of cardboard and then a layer of grass then water.

[img]https://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa267/adaba/aba060.jpg[/img]




When it rains the sides fill up and the beds get a passive watering for a long time. :P These are my full sun beds.
Last edited by Sage Hermit on Thu May 27, 2010 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ronbre
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it is easiest to cut fairly small squares in the sod with a shovel or a half moon edger..then you can either pry it up with a shovel, or with a pitchfork, i prefer a pitchfork as it gets less dirt but all of the sod..

you can find a corner to pile the sod in upside down and it will turn to compost in about a year.

you can plant right into the new area..break it up with the pitchfork but DON'T turn it over, you'll just turn up weed seeds..put down any amendments and rake them in and plant and then mulch really well (of course water)
Brenda

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Dixana
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RBG: I like that idea. Similar to lasagna gardening :D
So would 5-6 inches of soil be enough? I'm thinking I could mow the grass super short, layer the paper and add soil....
Would a mix of bags of organic humus and manure, compost, and topsoil be ok to use? I can get those the cheapest and don't have a lot of extra funds. I'll also be watering with a lot of compost/worm tea so the plants will get a lot of nutrients from that....

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rainbowgardener
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Dixana wrote:RBG: I like that idea. Similar to lasagna gardening :D
So would 5-6 inches of soil be enough? YES - as noted for plants if you need to you can cut a hole in the cardboard so they can grow through.. I'm thinking I could mow the grass super short, layer the paper and add soil....
Would a mix of bags of organic humus and manure, compost, and topsoil be ok to use? YES sounds good I can get those the cheapest and don't have a lot of extra funds. I'll also be watering with a lot of compost/worm tea so the plants will get a lot of nutrients from that....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

ronbre
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i have done the hugelkulture beds here in some areas as well, and they also work out well, the buried materials rot really fast and feed the soil quickly..2 of the ones i built in March were ready to plant this spring and had wonderful humus built up already by May
Brenda

Bloom where you are planted
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The Helpful Gardener
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Howdy!

My new no-till bed was started with six bales of hay and a yard of compost this year and it's doing great!

Make a square on the ground of the bales (two each on the north/south sides and one each on the (inside) east/west sides). Cardboard on the ground in the middle (about a four by four foot space in the midst of the bales), and fill with compost. Easy! I used some old hay to cover the soil as a mulch, and planted corn, beans and squash (the Three Sisters) in my new bed, and even stuffed some potatoes in the bales (cut in with a serrated knife, pulled out enough to stick in a potato, and backfilled with the compost; an experiment, so we'll see...)

Just dumping enough soil on top of the sod would work, but might get weedy around the edges pretty quick; I'd do the cardboard first if I was going that route. Sage's way is a perfectly viable one, but you must be sure to mulch well to keep down the grass and weeds in the sod (which I see Sage has done very nicely).

LOTS of ways to get there...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

Dixana
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The trusty hoe and I have a daily date with the weeds :twisted: It's been working pretty well thus far in keeping the weeds off the edges of the garden.
I still haven't decide 100% what I'm going to do. Our yard is ridiculously unlevel and if I don't rip off the sod the extension of the bed is going to end up being 6-8 inches higher. I COULD use straw bales to make an extra bed area but there are two problems with that idea. One is ***** next door would never let me hear the end of it and two is it would end up shading the already dug bed until at least noonish and at about 5 it starts to get shade from the west.
At this point I'm kicking myself DAILY for moving into town :(

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Sage Hermit
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Now now, Dixana, Thierry Rheist next door will only have so much energy to complain when they see the yield benefits and comes to embrace you as a teacher. I am begging to think lately; certain things simply shouldn't concern us. One of them being the way others observe and react towards us doing what makes us happy. Let them see is what I am beginning to realize.
Don't kick yourself. Lets keep brainstorming to optimize your shaded areas. The most beautiful and exotic plants thrive in shade. With the energy it takes you to kick yourself put that into creativity and planning.
The information you put in here helps a lot. Any issues you have this is where to discuss it. People will even learn from your issues, if we are even calling them that. From a landscaping perspective you have what I consider a pretty neat site. More challenging but way cool! Small projects gallore, right! You will look back and see something great so have patience.

Can you please send me a pic of your space? I am one of those people who really needs a visual aid.
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garden5
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Another thing you can do to kill the grass is to solarize it by laying down some clear plastic sheeting for a few days. The downside to this is it also kills some of the beneficial microbes in the soil as well. However, if you're adding compost anyway (which contains microbes), it shouldn't make too much of a difference.
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The Helpful Gardener
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:D

HG
Scott Reil

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