The Q&A Archives: Planting over dead grass-Problems?

Question: I am extending an existing landscaping bed and creating a new one. Grass killer has been sprayed to kill all the grass in the new beds. I am debating on whether or not I should till up the dead grass or just plant and mulch on top of it. My house was just built last fall so the ground isn't very compacted and the grass is not very thick. Do I need to till or remove the dead grass before planting?

Answer: If you are planting directly in the area where the old grass was rather than importing some topsoil, I would dig the grass and rake it out, roots and all. It sounds like a lot of work but it will ensure that no deeply buried roots will spring to life once you've planted the bed and begin watering it regularly. After planting, mulch over the bare soil to keep any dormant grass seeds from sprouting. Best wishes with your new garden!

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