Flower bed to turf

Asked September 1, 2016, 2:58 AM EDT

Hi, I have a flower bed on one side of my garden which has bushes in which I want to remove and lay turf, how do I go about this ? Thanks

Outside United States

1 Response

First the shrubs need to be removed. Removal can be done by pruning the shrubs down to ground level and grubbing out the roots using a grub-hoe, cutter mattock, pick-mattock or similar hand tool. Another option would be to tie a stout chain around the base of each shrub and remove it using an anchored come-along. Pruning and grubbing takes more time and effort but using a come-along to pull out the shrub is more dangerous.
Once all the shrubs' roots and top growth are removed the site needs to be prepared. It should be tilled either by turning the soil over with a shovel, again a lot of time and effort, or using a power tiller, again the faster but more dangerous option. Now is the time to apply any needed fertilizer and other soil amendments as identified by a soil test analysis. If soil testing is not available suggest applying the equivalent of 1 pound per 1,000 square feet of a balanced fertilizer (i.e., 20-20-20; 16-16-16). Do not use a Weed & Feed fertilizer, or apply any herbicide at this time as it may kill the new sod roots. When the site is well tilled and the soil amendments are well mixed into the soil, use a stout rake to level the ground with a sight taper to move surface water off the site and your property. Once that is done repeat the tilling and leveling. Yes it is time consuming and repetitious but site preparation is essential for successful turf installation. Next use a lawn roller (basically a smooth drum 1/3 filled with water) and roll the surface of the site back and forth, perpendicular and diagonal to the original rolled direction. Again make sure the surface has a 1% or 2% constant off site slope. Use a string level or a long carpenters level to determine slope and direction. Then right before laying the sod (turf) lightly rake the surface to encourage the roots to move from the sod into the soil. You'll have greater success if you apply a light dusting of moist peat moss to the soil surface immediately before laying sod. When laying the sod make sure the end seems do NOT match end seams in adjoining rows, much the same as how wood flooring is laid: side edges are constant but end pieces between rows never continue from one row to the adjoining sod row. Once the sod is laid, very lightly pack moist peat in voids between the different sod pieces. Keep traffic off the new sod for four to six weeks. Make sure the new sod receives at least 1 inch of water (rain or irrigation) each week. Work safely: when using cutting and digging tools wear gloves and sturdy boots; when lifting bags, equipment and sod practice safe lifting. It is best to wear long pants and light tennis type shoes or sneakers when laying sod. Regards,