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Just got an some land, its all lawn

Brian Kremer


Joined: Apr 04, 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Midway ut
I've just purchased some new land, it's all lawn. So my idea is...

Can I till the root zone of the grass up and put it in my chicken run with some brown matter (leaves, hay, woodchip) in a deep bed system, and have the chickens clean it of the ryzomes?
The plan is to reapply the bedding to the area it was taken from as a amendment.

Will the chickens mix it all up for me?
Will they eat all the roots?
How long will it take for say 6 chicks to clean a wheel barrel full of sod?

Thanks for the help, I'm hopping to keep the grass from smothering my garden, fledgling food forest, vineyard, and whatnot. I just don't want to be to invasive, and still boost my soil fertility.

Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1383
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
    6
I just start building beds on top of the sod.

I won't say put down cardboard since Paul doesn't like cardboard. So instead I'll say I would put down a REALLY thick layer of fresh green grass clippings - they will get really hot - and on top of that start building hugelkulter beds. No tilling needed. The soil will soften up in a very short time on its own.

I just scrape a little ditch around the edge of the planting area(s) to keep grass from creeping in.

I have found that the whole 'raised bed' thing that has boxes or borders is so much harder for me to keep grass out of. It has been easier to just keep a crow bar handy and rake it around the edge of the planting area once in a while. It rippes up the little creepers trying to climb over into the 'no grass' areas.


1. my projects
Hanley Kale-Grinder


Joined: Sep 30, 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
    
    1
If you're not in a big hurry and have access to mulch and top soil I would opt for smothering it. You can also run your chickens across with out tilling first and they will probably do a good job on thinning it out. That being said, I work for a SPIN farm in SLC and we just planted a root crop into a large yard that was all cheat grass, vetch, and clover one week ago. We tilled with a heavy duty tiller, raked out all of the grass we could, formed the beds, raked again, then planted. The total man hours for about 1/3 of an acre with the burly tiller was about 35 hours.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
if YOU MUST till to get something ready quickly for Spring..do as much as you need..but leave the rest for the chickens and a deep mulch to take care of...tilling destroys so much in the soil..so only do what you really must do to get in a few vegetables for your family for this year.

then begin to smother the sod with heavy mulches..or strip it with a flat shovel and a pitchfork..set it aside..dig a little soil out if you want, put in all the wood products you can find or compost or whatevery organic stuff you can..turn the sod upside down and pile the set aside dirt over top of the upside down sod ..maybe throw in some mulch between if it is availble..

and plant right in this..mulch your plants when they are up on top..this is kinda a hugel bed and should be pretty good for things like potatoes and sweet potatoes and lots of other things the first year.

the second year it should be a really good bed.

allow the chickens to do the rest of the work..let them strip and feed an area and them move them to the next area..

get your trees in right away.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Brian Kremer


Joined: Apr 04, 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Midway ut
So, based on the advice I have received... I have been taking the waste clippings from mowing the lawn and mulching the future garden space as deep as possible. ADAP? In the hopes of the clippings getting so hot that they burn/smother the lawn underneath. If there is any leftover weed problem I will be using the chickens to take care of it.

I like it, take a waste turn it into a plus.


Has anyone tried this on a big space? I am worried that the grass will come up sooner or later.
B
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3459
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  63
Hi Brian, wecome to permies
If it was my place, a lot would depend on what kind of grass it is.
Does each grass plant have (a) its own, separate root system, or (b) a mass of interlinked rhizomes? You can maybe tell that (a) is a lot easier to deal with!
Brian Kremer


Joined: Apr 04, 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Midway ut
Thanks, this forum is awesome! The lawn is all different types of grass, the spot that's gonna be the conventional garden has weaker grass. In the past I've had little success smothering lawn, but I have never tried fresh clippings before.
Alex Ames


Joined: Feb 24, 2012
Posts: 304
    
    1
Jeanine Gurley wrote:I just start building beds on top of the sod.

I won't say put down cardboard since Paul doesn't like cardboard. So instead I'll say I would put down a REALLY thick layer of fresh green grass clippings - they will get really hot - and on top of that start building hugelkulter beds. No tilling needed. The soil will soften up in a very short time on its own.

I just scrape a little ditch around the edge of the planting area(s) to keep grass from creeping in.

I have found that the whole 'raised bed' thing that has boxes or borders is so much harder for me to keep grass out of. It has been easier to just keep a crow bar handy and rake it around the edge of the planting area once in a while. It rippes up the little creepers trying to climb over into the 'no grass' areas.



If Paul is not listening, then I say use cardboard. Just mark off the beds to the shape you want and lay cardboard on top
of the grass in the marked off area and begin layering various materials on top of that until you get it taller than you want.
As the various materials break down it shrinks down. I have done a couple of my beds this way and they are doing very well.

I also have marked off the area and dug it out and buried wood, leaves and anything my place generates until I get it up a little
too tall and then I mixed the removed soil with some compost and this and that for the top layer and covered with wheat straw.
That works too. No cardboard in that method but it is labor intensive and due to that it is slower.
 
 
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