The Q&A Archives: Should I Till Soil That Has Grass Growing On It ?

Question: Hello, I have a patch of land that is 24' x 24'
I would like to know if I have to do anything to the existing grass that is growing on the soil before I till the soil. Thank you.

Answer: There are two methods of dealing with this. One is to remove the grass first by either treating it with an herbicide containing glyphosate, or by using a sod cutter or by digging it out by hand. (It is a great addition to the compost pile if broken up into clumps first.) The second method is to till it under and attempt to kill it by turning it under several times over a period of time. This allows the sod to be incorporated into the soil so it can serve as a source of humus. However, this method can exacerbate weed problems if the lawn area is weedy. It also requires a waiting period while the green materials decompose prior to planting. Finally, tilling sod is very heavy work and requires a very powerful tiller.

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