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Lawn is probably one of the most widespread and multi-use garden surfaces in existence. However garden lawns are usually not without their draw backs.
The biggest disadvantage of having a lawn is their seasonal maintenance. Mowing proves to be quite an inconvenient and laborious task at the best of times. The continuous cutting, edging, weeding and manicuring leads many to want to get rid grass completely.
The truth is, garden lawns rarely meet with our envisaged expectations. Most generally they end up a patchwork of different grasses, weeds and moss.
Consequently the desire to get rid of grass from your garden is an ever increasing one.
Chipping off the turf
The traditional way to get rid of grass is to chip it off with a spade. Using a cutting action the spade is thrust sideways about an inch under the lawns surface.
This chops off the roots under the soil and allows you to harvest the soft, upper layer. Typically you need to cut the turf into spade sized sections first. This makes it easier to dislodge the turf into bite sized portions.
These sections of turf can then be loaded into a wheelbarrow and skipped. Normally an experienced landscaper can clear about 50 square metres a day.
If you have an excavator on site this can be used or you can hire a turf cutter. The most typical tools for chipping off grass is a spade, pitch fork, landscaping rake and wheelbarrow.
13 ways to get rid of grass from your garden
1. Turf cutters
One of the fastest ways to get rid of turf from your garden is with a turf cutter. These robust machines allow you to cut turf cleanly and consistently.
Turf cutters are normally petrol powered and are available from most hire shops. Using a turf cutter is much faster than chopping by hand and essential for larger areas.
Once you have physically cut the turf away from the soil you will need to get rid of it. One of the most ecological solutions is to compost it.
Cut turf has a good ratio of topsoil to foliage which makes it perfect for composting. The air pockets created by the heaped up turf are good catalysts for decomposition.
3. At the base of new flower beds
If you are building raised beds in your new garden then you can lay the turf face down to the bottom. This is a really great way to recycle a waste product on site.
The foliage and roots will break down gradually and provide great fertiliser for the beds. Not only does this save you money skipping turf it also safes you money on new topsoil.
4. Levelling up your garden
If you naturally have a sloping or uneven garden turf provides you the opportunity for infill. Turf can be laid face down to low spots or divots to even up areas of the garden.
Once your turf has been laid out you can spread a thin layer of topsoil over the whole garden.
If you want to get rid of grass from your garden completely then hiring a skip is optimal. These large, metal, containers will allow you to get rid of the turf easily.
Normally an 8 yard skip will dispose of 6 square metres of waste and cost around £300. Skips generally take up the same area as a car so can be easily placed on driveways.
6. Grab Lorries
If you need to get rid of very large amounts of material then a grab lorry may be more suitable. These large Lorries can take up to 18 tonnes of waste material including lawn chippings. You will have to make sure you have adequate access for such a vehicle.
If you are thinking of smothering the existing lawn you may not have to remove the grass at all. If you plan on creating an extensive border or play area you can mulch over the grass.
First you will need to apply a robust, weed proof membrane to the whole area. Then supply and spread a 50mm layer of ornamental bark mulch.
Herbicides do deserve a mention as they are a widely used to kill off grasses in the landscape sector. Applications generally consist of glyphosate which is thought to be safe to the wider environment.
However there is conflicting debate on this matter. I would advise not to kill grass with any herbicide on an ecological basis.
9. Boiling water
Boiling water can be used to kill grasses on contact. However for large expansive areas this is probably a little impractical. Boiling water can be an effective way of killing off rogue grass on patios and borders.
10. Boarding and sheeting
Another method of getting rid of grass from the garden is by smothering it. This can be done by either large boards or robust membranes.
Starved of sunlight and oxygen grass will typically die off within 4 weeks. The remaining soil can then be cultivated or covered with a different material.
11. Strimming and rotavating
This method is particularly effective if you are planning on cultivating the ground. Grass can be strimmed down to the base with a powerful strimmer.
The soil can then be rotavated deeply with a heavy duty tiller to mix up the ground. The soil can then be raked over to a fine texture removing roots as you go.
12. Advertise it locally
Turf cuttings may not sound like the most exciting freebie in the world but some can utilise them. This is sometimes true for builders and landscapers who need to make up ground levels.
Although this can be a long shot there could be someone locally who needs it. Advertise it on local social media groups and sharing websites.
13. Hiring a ground worker
Most of the time hiring an experienced professional can be an efficient solution. Not only will landscapers and ground workers scrape up grass but also remove it.
This consolidates the whole process and takes the hassle and logistics away from you. Contact recommended contractors in your area for a formal quotation.
Thank you for reading our article on how to remove grass from your garden. If it was helpful to you why not share it or comment below? For landscaping services why not contact us via our contact page here.
Completing the work yourself check out our resource and landscaping tools page here.
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