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What do I do with my turf??

Hi there!

I live on my own on a hill in the middle of nowhere like H.S. Thompson.  The place is about a 1/3 acre surrounded by industrial farmland.  I have recently begun landscaping the garden and so I am digging in some places and depositing the soil in other places to make a nice interesting garden image

I am very interested in growing veg and so I have a big compost heap going and now after 5 years it is producing a lot of good growing compost - there is access to a relatively large amount of manure from a neighbour's goats, although I have not used this yet...  I am also trying to reclaim the excavated clay soil (very poor quality) by mixing it with a little compost and heaping it over rotting wood (any other suggestions would be appreciated!).

However, I am left with a big pile of very poor turf with no clue what to do with it.  I assume that if I try to mix it with the rest of the excavated soil that I will just get a lot of weeds?

Any advice on how to treat my soil and turf?  I prefer more organic methods but any suggestions welcome.




  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Pile it up grass side down. Build a neat pile, bricklayer style and cover it so it doesn't get washed away and just leave it to rot down. You will end up with nice humus-rich soil.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    take the turf and pile it up one layer face up, next layer face down . Keep going like this so it's grass against grass, soil against soil all the way up. 

    Leave it for about 2 years, sorry, it's a commitment, but when it's done, you'll have the most wonderful loam to use .

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,270

    You can stack the turves in a neat pile in a corner placing roots to roots and grass to grass in layers.  It will rot down to make wonderful soil for your new veg beds.

    For the clay soil, break it up with a fork if you can then layer on loads of well rotted farmyard manure and leave it over winter so that the elements and worms can break it all down and mix them up.   Fork it over in spring and rake before layering on some of your compost and planting plugs rather than sowing seeds as they'll cope better.

    Keep mulching with more compost and manure every autumn and you'll ned up with healthy, fertile soil.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Wow, that was quick, thanks! imageimage

    The same advice from two people must be good.  No problems with the commitment, I am not going anywhere.  I will build a little wall with it image

    Thanks again!


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Three, cos I agree.

    A cube is better than a wall though, as it's less likely to dry out or fall over.  The clay will be good at holding nutrients but yes, it does need breaking up, first with a fork and then with worm guts and humus.

    Who's H S Thompson?

  • I used turf after composting to make my own potting composts, for a variety of plants, cheaper than bought in.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,641

    And goat manure is fantastic too - high in nitrogen - use it in layers in your compost heap - it acts as an activator and gets it heating up and breaking down quickly. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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