Ask a Question forum: How to remove a garden

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Fairbanks Alaska
lagwagon777
May 31, 2018 9:22 PM CST
I bought a home in interior Alaska and there was a garden in the backyard, only about 12' square. It has the horizontal raised "channels" in it (sorry I do not know the name of them but if I were to lay down an look at them they would appear like the waves of an ocean or a roller coaster) . The soil is rather dry, really compacted, and has many weeds. I want to turn this into useable grass backyard. What do I do in order to do this - do I rototill then seed for grass? My wife and I have 5 kids living in the house, so weed killer chemicals are not something we want to use. Please help me, I've never gardened or landscaped. Thanks in advance.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 31, 2018 9:26 PM CST
Welcome!

Sorry, I'm not visualizing what you are dealing with. Can you post a couple photos?
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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
Köppen climate classification Cfa
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scvirginia
May 31, 2018 10:15 PM CST
I can't really visualize the channels either, but I wonder if they could be swales or berms designed for water conservation, or possibly the soil is compacted purposefully to limit the damage from earthquakes, and the ridges could be related to that?

I think your best bet may be to get local advice. Is there a cooperative extension branch near you?
https://www.uaf.edu/ces/garden...

Good luck,
Virginia
Fairbanks Alaska
lagwagon777
Jun 1, 2018 12:03 AM CST
Thumb of 2018-06-01/lagwagon777/b1e95e
This is how weed filled it is.


Thumb of 2018-06-01/lagwagon777/b1e89d
This is my garden, you cant see much.


Thumb of 2018-06-01/lagwagon777/383ab6
This is a photo off the internet NOT OF MY GARDEN, but it is showing what it used to look like.

Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
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Australis
Jun 1, 2018 12:18 AM CST

Moderator

Looks like it originally had some raised rows or beds for vegetables and they have just smoothed out with time and the weather.

Ideally for a lawn you would level the area out first. Note that tilling will bring any weed seeds to the surface as well, so you will have new weeds come up. You can try putting down large sheets of cardboard or thick layers of newspaper to discourage that until you are ready to sow your grass seed.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 1, 2018 7:12 AM CST
If you have given up on trying to grow food this year.... Why not simply use a strimmer, or just run over the garden with the mower?
While there is some slight elevation difference, really doubt that a mower would have a problem.
With 5 children, I wouldn't expect to have a perfect lawn anyway.
Save the effort for something that matters.

Food is pretty important, why not harness all that kid power, and turn the soil with a shovel, and plant something edible?

Might be a great learning experience for the entire family!

In all honesty, the existing vegetation doesn't look like any big deal.
[Last edited by stone - Jun 1, 2018 7:15 AM (+)]
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Fairbanks Alaska
lagwagon777
Jun 1, 2018 11:04 AM CST
Thanks guys. Raised rows are what they are called. I cannot mow that area, the raised rows are still too raised for the mower to be effective. What is a strimmer? I guess I thought tilling would work since the soil is compacted. I dont want a perfect yard, just to lose the raised rows so we can move our trampoline there and have it on level ground. If I do till, how deep do I till?
Fairbanks Alaska
lagwagon777
Jun 1, 2018 11:09 AM CST
Oh, you mean a gas powered weed whacker. I could do that, since I don't care that the soil is compacted however the ground would still be rolling from the raised rows. We have no intention of ever using it as a garden.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 1, 2018 11:19 AM CST
It would be nice if you get a little "Bobcat" back there to level the ground. Tilling is going to loosen the soil and make it harder to have a packed level surface for a trampoline. If you till, the trampoline feet are going to sink into the ground.

On the other hand, if you want any sort of lawn, you will have to till.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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