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Expanding a border / removing some lawn

Hi, we are very new to the world of gardening having just bought a house with a garden but now want to do something with it ... created a cottage style garden.  From what we have read this will mean wider borders hence removing some of the lawn but we don’t know if we dig the lawn up and add it to the garden waste, turn it over and dig into the boarder or somehow kill the grass (we do not want to use weedkillers / chemicals). Any help and advice would be gratefully received. Thanks. :-) 


  • nultyphilip224nultyphilip224 Ireland,..The Midlands.Posts: 923
    @tonygrogan,..welcome to the Forum, can make good use of the section of lawn removed by placing the sod face down in a flower bed and cover it with a good few inches of soil,..or start a compost type heap, each sod face down on top of each other up to a reasonable height then cover it all with black plastic until no night gets through,..this will breakdown the grass roots and you will end up with soil you can use.

  • I would remove the lawn and ,if possible, stack it grass down in a heap and cover it so to speed up the composition that will break down over a period of time. This will produce loam based soil that can be reused within your garden boarders. If you decide to you just turn over and dig it in to the boarder you will need to break the clods down and you will infest your boarder with grass within the clods. 
    With any lawn removal, I would always remove it from the boarder as it will possibly be more of a problem if you leave it in the boarder imo 

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,025
    Use a lawn edger half moon tool and cut straight lines in the grass you want lifted, a spadeswidth apart (you can do this with a spade if necessary but the tool is sharper). Then take your spade (holding it as if you were about to shovel something with it rather than dig), and bending down, swing the spade into and along the turf, slicing off the grass as you go. Keep swinging (you will get into a rhythm) and once you have about 3 foot done, roll the grass up and put it somewhere out of the way to break down and turn into compost. Depending on how strong you are, make the rolls longer or shorter. The trick is to make the depth of the spit as shallow as possible so you are not removing big chunks of earth with the grass, but deep enough to remove most of the grass roots. Aim for spits around 3-4 inches deep depending on your soil. 

    If you do it when the soil is slightly moist, it makes it easier. Don't wait until the ground is bone dry, as depending on your soil type, it will be like trying to shovel concrete. On the other hand, if the ground is too wet, the grass weighs a ton! 

    Dig the area over, enrich the soil and off you go a-planting!  
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • tony gtony g Posts: 13
    Thanks for the advice :-). Now clear on the next step after I have removed the unkempt shrubs from the current borders. 
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