The Q&A Archives: creating a garden

Question: I need to cut an area of my lawn to create a new garden, what is the best way to cut the sod?

Answer: I remove sod differently from what you may see on TV gardening shows. The latter often recommend using a flat-blade shovel, with which the sod is skimmed off and removed, soil and all. But I use a common, everyday, pointed shovel, cutting the sod out in chunks (about 4" deep x 10" wide x 10" long). Then I lay the shovel on its side (blade perpendicular to the ground, and pound the sod against the shovel's blade. By doing so, I remove the bulk of the soil from the sod, so that I don't waste it. I dispose of the sod by placing it in my compost bin.

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