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First Step To Replacing Turf?

Bruce Spierer

Joined: Sep 24, 2011
Posts: 3
My parents have a small turf plot (about 10'x10' in front of their property which they no longer wish to care for and has been overgrown all season.  They were about to concrete it or get a fake replacement.  I offered to replace it with something low maintenance (no mowing).

I've been getting great design ideas from the forum, but I'm not quite sure how to approach removing the turf.  I would rather not dig up the entire plot since that is labor intensive and would disturb whatever ecosystem does exist (it was chemically treated for years but has had a break the last two seasons). 

What do I do with the existing lawn?  Also it is worth trying to seed winter rye to begin remediating the soil this late in the season (zone 6b) or should I just wait until next spring to begin?


Joined: May 24, 2011
Posts: 43
Location: Pennsylvania, Zone 5B
I recommend looking up sheet mulch and doing that. You basically lay a lot of organic matter, maybe a foot deep, on top of the grass. The grass will die and by spring you'll have a lovely area to plant a bunch of non-grass things.
Andrew Kay

Joined: Apr 25, 2012
Posts: 31
thick layer of wet cardboard, then layers of greens, browns and manure, finishing with a layer of finished compost if you have it. plant out with green manure seeds and/or nitrogen fixing cover crop like clover. Chop and drop that late summer and plant the seeds for your parents' perenial low maintenance garden. Ive had great success with this approach.
subject: First Step To Replacing Turf?