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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Till sod or remove it?

    When beginning a new garden is it okay to till the sod or is it better to remove it?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    When you want to do a new lawn, it's better to start with a clean pad.

    preparation is the key: remove the old, till the soil, spread pre-sod nutrients, top soil, fertilizers and what ever else is recommended by the sod supplier. Install your sprinklers, if you have any, roll and compact the pad - and you're ready for the new sod.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    One of my degrees is in Landscape horticulture.

    Removing the sod will also strip away your best soil layer. Simply spray the grass with Roundup. Wait a week until it shows signs of death. You don't want to till green material into the soil.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    I would strip the sod & till in some organic matter like compost or peat moss(not a lot), organic fertilizer. If you want to plant for this season I would not till in any manure unless it is well aged and then not a lot. I would not want to spray roundup on any soil that I would eventually be eating anything from.
    Even if the garden is for flowers, stripping the sod will be an easier way to go, but the round up method will work. Throw the sod into a compost pile or re-use it in the yard as needed.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    I think we need to clarify if this "garden" is in fact going to become a veggie garden, or are you replacing sod and flower beds?

    If this is to be a garden, then DO NOT spray Round Up. The manufacturer has lied about it being a short lived herbicide. Round Up does indeed stay in the soil for a very long time, which does not bode well for potable plants or your health if you eat them.

    If you are relandscaping, then the use of an herbicide is up to you, though I still highly recommend against them because all you are doing is killing the green leafy stuff on top of the ground, you are doing absolutely nothing to the weed and grass seed under the surface of the soil that will become viable as soon as it is exposed to sunlight and warmth. If you are replanting sod or grass seed, you can either cut the existing sod off or rototill it in, it won't matter. The addition of organic matter is also an excellent idea.

    The reality of "hot" or composted material is only an issue in the manner it is used. Dig a hole and put a steaming cow pie in the bottom of it and then plant a tomato over it and you'll kill the tomato plant. In this instance you definitely want to use a composted material. When it comes to mixing a fresh cow pie into the soil in which you are planting, then it does not matter because the manure is being diluted by the soil and cannot generate enough heat to be a problem.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    I used Houston Remodeler's meathod for getting rid of the disaster of a lawn I inherited when I bought my house here in Portland. I killed everything with Round-Up, then rented a small tractor with roto-tiller on back to deep till the soil while adding peat moss and gypsum to the heavy clay soil. My new sod looked like a pool table - until the moles did their thing

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    I'm glad to see that we all agree that we disagree.

    But different parts of the country have different approaches to the same issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    The manufacturer has lied about it being a short lived herbicide. Round Up does indeed stay in the soil for a very long time, which does not bode well for potable plants or your health if you eat them = sorta true.

    While any excess roundup does stay in the soil, it binds itself soooo tightly to the soil particles it cannot be removed or absorbed into plant material. If it could, it would keep on killing forever, which we all know it does not. If you've ever looked inside a tank used only for Roundup, you will see it it perfectly clean as the roundup binds to any dirt.

    If this is a veggie bed, then tilling after killing the green matter is optional. You can use the practice of 'no till farming' where the seedlings are planted directly into the undisturbed soil. This helps prevent erosion and saves a step (labor & gasoline)

  9. #9
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    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    I have to agree with HoustonRemodeler, while I am not a trained horticulturalist I am a farmer and if Roundup did cause a serious residual affect our farm lands would be setting baron by now. Roundup breaks down over time into natural materials and will not move in the ground to affect nearby, untreated plants. It must be absorbed through the leaves of growing plants not through the roots.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    2

    Default Re: Till sod or remove it?

    Very interesting conversation! I appreciate the input from different viewpoints. This is to be for vegetables and I am in MN. Thanks for the advice!

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