Ilikeplants Posts: 894
I’ve recently taken off a bit of lawn to increase my border. Can I take those turf pieces and put them into an old bin until they turn into useable soil? I don’t want to put the mound directly on the ground because it looks unsightly. Will it still break down in the bin? What about couch grass roots, will they break down and die this way?
Be interested to hear if anyone has any successful ways to break it down permanently.
I used old compost and bark chippings bags, tied them up and left them under cover for at least four years, some as long as six years. I have recently emptied them and sieved the contents. Nothing was still growing, but some things, like big clumps of woodrush, hadn't broken down so I discarded that. The resulting compost is excellent but I'm only using it on grass in case there are long-lived seeds of weeds I wouldn't want in borders
I think the turf will make a good product if left long enough and sealed to prevent drying out, if you have space to store it.
@floralies I was scared of getting a new grass mound too, that already happened when I stuck them upside down in the border expecting it to break down.
The problem with couch, holcus and other aggressive grasses is that they grow deep here, well below the level at which edging half moons can reach to sever them. They appear two or three feet inside borders, piercing herbaceous perennials which means they need constant digging up to clean the grasses out. I have tried cutting along border edges deeply with a spade but that risks damaging tree and shrub roots. I did try leaving them until there was enough growth to apply glyphosate but of course that doesn't solve it as the mass of roots lies safely beneath the grass, only the bit in the border is affected, and even then, not the roots.
I plan to spray off one small section that is particularly troublesome and redesign the borders there. ( Was hoping to do that this year but the big storm changed all that.) I often wonder what depth of barrier would be needed to prevent this problem...
It may not take as long as four years -- that just happens to be how long I left those bags -- certainly seems a good idea to keep it to use when it's all broken down and free of live grass roots.