Ask a Question forum: Sod Composting

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IL
mjgarden
May 25, 2018 8:34 AM CST
Hello,

I just bought a 400 square foot gardening plot in a local park district (looking to turn it into a vegetable garden), and as of now the plot is full of grass. I'll be removing the sod soon, and I wasn't sure what I should do with it, and that's when I heard of sod composting. It sounds like you can place the sod upside-down in layers (called "lasagna gardening") with layers of composting material inbetween.

The problem here is that people recommend doing this months in advance so that the sod has time to warm up and really compost, and I'd want to plant right away (June will be here in just a week). So my question is, when I'm making my rows to plant in, could I remove the sod, place it grass side down, add bags of compost and fresh soil over it, and start planting right away?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 25, 2018 11:43 AM CST
I don't know what the correct way is but my dad always just used a flat shovel, slid it under the sod, flipped the sod over and planted with no additions other than to put some peat moss, cow manure and limestone into each planting hole. It worked just fine for him. Good luck with your new garden and please share photos as you proceed. Thanks.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
May 26, 2018 3:05 PM CST
mjgarden said:Hello,

I just bought a 400 square foot gardening plot in a local park district (looking to turn it into a vegetable garden), and as of now the plot is full of grass. I'll be removing the sod soon, and I wasn't sure what I should do with it, and that's when I heard of sod composting. It sounds like you can place the sod upside-down in layers (called "lasagna gardening") with layers of composting material inbetween.

The problem here is that people recommend doing this months in advance so that the sod has time to warm up and really compost, and I'd want to plant right away (June will be here in just a week).

So my question is, when I'm making my rows to plant in, could I remove the sod, place it grass side down, add bags of compost and fresh soil over it, and start planting right away?


I wouldn't even try.

agree that starting a new bed takes months.

since you waited this long, I'd dig up the sod and put it elsewhere.

some people like to pile the sod squares in the woods.

glad to hear about the new garden... I suggest researching what type of grass you are dealing with.

Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 26, 2018 6:13 PM CST
mjgarden said:Hello,

I just bought a 400 square foot gardening plot in a local park district (looking to turn it into a vegetable garden), and as of now the plot is full of grass. I'll be removing the sod soon, and I wasn't sure what I should do with it, and that's when I heard of sod composting. It sounds like you can place the sod upside-down in layers (called "lasagna gardening") with layers of composting material inbetween.

The problem here is that people recommend doing this months in advance so that the sod has time to warm up and really compost, and I'd want to plant right away (June will be here in just a week). So my question is, when I'm making my rows to plant in, could I remove the sod, place it grass side down, add bags of compost and fresh soil over it, and start planting right away?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

If you are using a sod cutter, just roll it up grass side in and stack it out of the way some where.
It will turn into a pile of soil with a littel grass growing on the out side but most of it will simplly be soil you can use at a later date.

IL
mjgarden
May 26, 2018 6:51 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your responses. I think I might just follow greene's advice and flip the sod over and plant over it. I don't have any fancy machinery or cutters (just a shovel) and I have nowhere to put 400 square feet of sod. Might as well use it if I can, and buy manure and limestone like greene said, and cross my fingers.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
May 26, 2018 7:00 PM CST
You can rent a manual sod cutter for a very reasonable fee per day, I have found that sod takes a long time to break down.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 27, 2018 11:59 AM CST
@mjgarden I tip my hat to you. 😀
It's important that you/we know what types of grass's you have. If you have something like Bermuda that grows stolens under ground. Your going to have to handle things very differently.
Let us know before you proceed.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
IL
mjgarden
May 27, 2018 1:45 PM CST
I have no idea what kind of grass it is, nor do I know how to tell what kind it is. I'm brand new to this. All I know is that the plot I bought was probably not used last year, which is why it's covered in grass and not bare soil. Here's a picture of what the plot looks like.

Thumb of 2018-05-27/mjgarden/8e9fe4

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
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greene
May 27, 2018 4:38 PM CST
Illinois is not likely to have Bermuda grass. Too far north...I think.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
May 27, 2018 7:15 PM CST
Most likely fescue or bluegrass.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 28, 2018 2:27 PM CST
MJ : swollen roots, are usually a sign of stolen type grass's, not just Bermuda grass !!!
If your grass doesn't have swollen roots. Proceed tuning grass over, and top coating with mulch, then compost.

If you want to be real safe 👍😀.
Ask one of your neighbors, what they did ???
I'm speaking, totally logically....
I'm a man, I can't help but be logical.
Rolling on the floor laughing

Ttfn. 😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
IL
mjgarden
May 28, 2018 3:03 PM CST
Philip, that's a great idea! Thanks!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 28, 2018 3:11 PM CST
Welcome, Welcome ! I tip my hat to you.
Beats me, D'Oh! !!! Why I didn't think of it in the first place.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
May 29, 2018 3:50 PM CST
Thanks for the picture!
Wish that you had included that in the first post...

Now that we can see what you have, we can see that you aren't trying to turn a lawn into a garden... which is what we were all thinking.

I wonder if you don't have something simple like annual rye, or timothy, or oats, or something else easy...

Try getting out there with a shovel and simply turn some.
you would find out real quick whether you were dealing with an annual or turf.

Alternatively... can't you just ask someone what kind of grass you have? there are other gardeners out there, I'm figuring...

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