What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by wm9863, May 27, 2009.

  1. wm9863

    wm9863 New Member

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    I'm moving in a few weeks and plan on ripping out all of the grass in my backyard and starting my first permaculture garden... Any suggestions on what to do with all the sod that I rip out? Should I compost it or perhaps till it into the soil? Please help with suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    I've just done precisely the same thing (well the landscaper and his friend with the bob cat actually). Mine was all heaped up into big pile and covered with a thick layer of mulch so that it will rot down eventually. I haven't decided what to do with the pile yet - will possibly whack a watermelon vine on the top to try to slow any weeds down.

    Where abouts are you?
     
  3. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    I'd use my rotary hoe and till the surface (top couple of inches) a couple of times then rake it in a pile to rot.

    Rotary hoes are pretty cheap to hire if you don't have one.
     
  4. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    compost it.. put some other stuff with it to speed it up (kitchen scraps / manure etc??).. water it a bit as well. Digging it in, it will just grow again where you don't want it.
     
  5. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    wm,

    Seriously, the question is welcome but if you are going to ask this you are in SERIOUS need of a permaculture design course.

    Even a cursory read of Permaculture would change your question from 'useless grass' to useful grass.

    good luck,
     
  6. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    you could pile it up and let it rot?

    or why do all that manual labour in the first place, as you need cover and area with newspaper and plant you gardens on top, for treed areas still the same you dig a hole put the upturned dirt around the tree and the backfill material and lay paper over it before heavily mulching. you could do this in preparation just paper and mulch the whole area, don't skimp on the paper. no course needed just good old common sense.

    len
     
  7. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Yeah, that was what i used to do.

    I found knocking the top 2 or 3 inches off first gave a good supply of compost starter for a new area and also speeds up the rotting process as more air can get into it,

    Some grasses, like kikuyu would need complete removal. Newspaper would not likely kill it in a hurry and composting it would produce thousands of new plants.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Len - ever practical you are! In my case it would have been impractical as I was "de-grassing" a whole large residential block in one fell swoop. Covering and planting would work for a smaller area though...
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    kikuya and nut grass abound in our so called lawn, newspaper stops them everytime, tried weedmat under landscape stones the nut grass laughed at it.

    eco4560, size of area would not be a limiting factor i can imagine amassing the resources ie.,. paper and mulch could be but once laid and covered the grass under would compost and become nutrient to the soil. and removing grass physically doesn not gurantee that viable roots won't be left behind, be a matter of starting in one corner and working your way out and across, it'll all get done soone or maybe later?

    len
     
  10. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Chickens.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    You are right Len. 6 weeks post the landscaper moving off site and I was out in the yard this afternoon finding that there are some patches of grass finding their way to the surface again.... I have a pumpkin planned to go over one bit, a watermelon for another and a rockmelon for another. Hopefully that'll choke the blasted stuff out for a while.

    Who was it that decided that LAWN was the ultimate and installed it in the gardens of the world with such enthusiasm? Hate the stuff... Possibly as a consequence of many a hot summers day of my childhood being ruined by my father insisting that I mow the yard. Picture large block on a slope with a sweaty sunburnt red head in a bikini....

    And Grahame - being new to the chook game I have to say I'm very impressed by the ability of a group of chickens to render a spot bare in no time flat! My 8 girls moved to a new bed in their dome yesterday. I had planted it with lucerne, barley and clover a month prior and had a generous foot high cover on it. Today it is BARE.... And they don't complain (unlike the kid in the bikini with the mower) and lay eggs to boot!
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    you in the USA eco4560?

    yes pumpkins are good for killing the top of the grass to give you breathing space but the roots will still be viable especially of the tougher more resiliant grasses.

    anyhow keep us informed.

    len
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Nope - Sunshine Coast Qld. Great gardening country....
     
  14. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    ok eco',

    you must have good micro climate to be growing pumpkins & melons about now but whatever works hey?

    len
     
  15. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Len I generally try not to let good horticultural practices get in the way of my garden plans. Usually to my detriment I might add. The pumpkin seedlings are thriving so far... Watch this space!
     
  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    lol night temp's will start to change somewhat dramatically from here on in that should be the teller. my vine is in decline but then it has been growing all summer. i expect that decline to hasten with the oncoming colder nights.

    watching "this space"

    oh neartly forgot whack heaps of mulch around them up to oh i dunno 18"s or so deep and out wide, maybe if you keep the root runs warmer the plant might pull through better? but then the mulchng will kill those grass roots anyway i expect catch 22 hey lol?

    len
     
  17. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Why do everything at once? Start close and work your way out, A forest does not grow overnight, letting things evolve over time has lots of benefits, it lets you develop using stuff you scored or have collected along the way, it lets you see how nature treats your block of land (weather/heat/rain etc..) In Permaculture I have often heard 100hrs of planning and 1hr of work, (not quite true but I'm sure you get the idea), if you make a mistake you haven't stuffed up big time.

    My food forest is 2000m2 and after 6 years of weekend work it's almost all mulched, I'm a big fan of using newspaper and hay/sugar cane/wood chip mulch over the top.

    If you really need to cut it all up, maybe use it to make mini swales, a roll of black plastic over the top for a few months would kill pretty well anything under it, or if you have chooks throw it all in with them and they will turn it into a great mulch or compost in a few months.

    Share some pics of the process when your into it.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    Bazman seems to have gone quiet after posting the question... Possibly overwhelmed by the thought of out of season pumpkins!

    I TRY to slow myself down but every morning I look at the empty spots where I can plant things and I get this itch that only goes away by planting something.
     
  19. spirited

    spirited Junior Member

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    You haven't mentioned what type of grass it is ie. perennial like kykuyu, couch or buffulo or annual like wheat, rye etc.

    If it is perennial, especially couch, it will be damn near impossible to completely remove. I've also found newspaper & thick mulch/no dig gardens on top of couch doesn't last for more than about a season before the couch is prevailing again. I'm inclined to plant trees/shrubs where couch grows and be grateful it really is only active in summertime. You can mow or slash it around the trees until they are eventually big enough they most shade it out.

    Perhaps making some clear spots, well fertilised with additional compost in it, which you plant vigorous summer growing vines such as pumpkin, melons etc which can sprawl across the ground is a way of managing the grass....or at least it wouldn't matter about it as after you collect all the fruit from the vines you could mow the whole area. That way it's still being productive and you're doing minimal labour.

    If it is annual grass turn it in as a green manure crop. Add some extra manure or compost.....whatever you have available, wait a couple of weeks for it to break down a bit and plant into it.

    Grass really isn't 'useless' but it does require varying degrees of management (or ignorance, if you prefer.....like I do). It is valuable stock feed for a wide range of animals. Depending on the type of grass it can be excellent for building soil & composting with.

    I'm inclined to work in small sections, pulling grass & other 'weeds' only when I'm ready to plant into the area I'm clearing. The soil is better kept covered than left bare. The lawnmower & whippersnipper are greatly valued tools for keeping the grass cover at a managable length wherever I don't have intensive garden beds. With about 2 acres to maintain, they get quite a workout too!

    I used to keep chickens but found they prefer the vege's to the grasses. If you're going to use foul to clear the land you need to have good systems set up to control them, to keep them where you want them or they'll be more distructive than they're worth.
     
  20. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: What to do with my useless grass after I rip it all out?

    dunno? maybe you skimp on the paper, it has never failed us even with nut grass, any couch that gets into our garden comes from the lawn to the garden, just means we've let the weed barrier lapse and it is easy pulled and has never taken over. kuykuya the same.

    once we lay a raised bed nothing comes up from under it.

    len
     

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