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April 23, 2006


I just had my husband run the mower over our sad attempt at a garden. My dad, suggested a sod remover, but then decided we'd be just as well to till it all instead. We should have tilled it, let it sit for a couple weeks, tilled again - to really pull up all the grass and make sure we killed it.

After two years of struggling to kill off the grass, maintain some order, be weed-free - without chemicals, I gave up. Next time, I'm planning to build my beds up, but taking care of the grass first.

Hope Mark isn't too sore from the tiller - I know my dad always seemed to really wrestle with it.

Well, I am going to 'lasagna' the beds with lots of stuff to smother the grass, and we are getting the luxury of a truckload of planting mix (half topsoil/ half compost) to top it with.

Had I been more savvy, I would have done the tilling last fall, and raked it out this spring and started the layering.

Come fall, I might be renting the lighter tiller to turn the whole thing under, so next spring should be a solid good start for the veggies...

First year's always rough with these projects.

Mark says 'thanks' for the sympathy!

A friend of mine 'lasange-d' the beds last year & had a very successful garden. I agree, first years are always rough! I just took mega weeds out of an area and decided to put a tarp down to hold it until next step. Too much to do in the garden & I don't need one more weed to pull. Hoping the tarp holds them back until I get time to figure out the next step.

Yeah. I'm doing a combination of things. I've been collecting large cardboard boxes to lay down as paths - I'll scatter a little straw over these and they should visually dissappear.

I think your tarp idea is a good one, but if you can get newsprint down under the tarp it'll be a sure thing. Nothing smothers quite like newspaper tiled over that weedy ground. Time consuming, but worth the extra effort.

I wish someone had told me about a sod remover. Twenty threes years of digging up sod by hand....bummer.

Well, Sandy - now we both know.
Live and learn, I guess.

And I always have to learn the hard way. Go me.

Well I'm starting my first vegetable garden and had my poor hubby till the area with my brothers professional tiller. Through the sod and everything. We didn't know about a "sod remover" and my muscular, 6'3 hubby worked up quite a sweat for two days tilling a 12x12 area for me. (I secretly watched through the window chuckling). Now we know better. I've already planted tomatos and peppers, now I wished I would have had him till one more time. Is my garden going to be riddled with weeds now? Or will the grass come back?


I'm in zome 5..NW Indiana. Any ideas what else to plant? I am going to do several herbs and thought about some lettuce. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Jennifer - If you pulled out any of the grass that was showing after the turning, you should be okay. Watch for grass emerging and try to get it early and it should be weak from growing up through all that dirt with no sun to feed it.

A couple of minutes in the garden a day scouting for these, or a half hour once per weekend, and the weeds will be kept down.

What to plant? Well, lots of stuff. Get your lettuce in the ground as soon as you can - it likes this cold weather and will 'bolt' - that is, go to seed - once the heat of summer really sets in. Beans, corn, root crops like carrots or beets, potatoes, broccoli, the choices are nearly endless...

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