The Q&A Archives: Remove Lawn

Question: We would like to remove a section of our lawn and put in a gravel garden. Can you suggest the steps we need to take? For example, must we dig up the lawn (it is mostly weeds) or can we put mesh over top? Thank you

Answer: The main idea is to promote good drainage and to keep grassy weeds from popping up in the new bed. If you leave the lawn in place and build a bed over the top, you may compromise the drainage in the new bed. The remaining layer of grass and roots may inhibit water penetration and percolation. If you plan to cover the area with 3"-4" of gravel and then garden in containers you can simply cover the lawn with weed barrier and add your gravel, then arrange your pots of plants in the bed. If you plan to cover the area with gravel and then dig planting holes, your best course of action would be to dig or til the area to break up roots and thatch, then place woven weed barrier cloth over the area before adding gravel. Good luck with your new bed!

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