I just reclaimed a 3' strip of yard from my neighbour and am planning on turning the whole thing into a new garden bed. Some initial research has suggested 2 methods: 1. Remove the sod with a spade (Ouch! My back!) or 2. Mulch over the grass with newspaper and manure.
I kinda like method 2, except that it takes 60 days to get my new bed; and I want to plant NOW! ;)
So, I was thinking of a 3rd option: Could I just rent a rototiller and till the grass under? And then plant pretty much the same day - or at least week...?
If you till, the grass will probably just grow back unless you rake it all out...for an instant bed I have used layers of newspaper, wet it down, cover with heavy layer of mulch and cut holes thru the paper for your plants... easy peasy!
I use heavy cardboard wet it down and use home made compost or garden mulch and garden soil half and half. If you tre not in a big rush follow lasagna gardening , Thereia long thread last year, perhaps someone can send you the link. I do nor know how to do it, Belle
I am impatient too when it comes to making a new bed. I got plants from the clearance rack and they need soil now. So I started my new bed this week with a tiller. I tilled the top layer and raked it out. I have bermuda grass in a few spots and it has to be dug by hand to make sure it ALL comes out... leave a sprig and it will take over again. Unless you make a raised bed this is the only way I can think of to insure that you will not have issues later with grass coming back. I have read that if you lay down a layer of cardboard, newspaper, and compost and keep it wet that it will make an awesome bed, but you have to wait a whole season. Good luck with your new flower bed.
You do not wait for a whole season if you have the resources meaning spend money if you do not have a compost. this is talking through experience. Lay down thick cardboard wet it down. Order mulch from nursery and walla you have a bed!!!. Belle
really?! I was pretty bumed about the wait but was willing. That's awesome. Do you think it will kill out the bermuda grass under it? That stuff is awful hard to get rid of. Once it gets a start it takes off like a bullet under the ground. It's great for the golf course but not my flower beds :-)
We have rented a sod cutter (the "kick" type) on several occasions. I don't know what they cost in your area, but the most recent was $15.00 for two hours. You can also rent them for a full day. Because the rental place was right nearby very little time was lost in travel.
My husband used the cutter on a bed about 3' x 15'. The sod came up easily & was so nice that he used it to fill in bare & thin spots around the yard.
Once that was done & the cutter had been returned, we tilled in various ammendments with our Mantis mini tiller (but you could work it in by hand, just a little more work). We added compost, leaves, etc. I would have planted the next day, but it rained so I had to wait till it dried out a little. All-in all, it was pretty quick & easy.