How to Remove Grass After Tilling a Garden

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Tillers remove vegetation from the soil.
Tillers remove vegetation from the soil. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Those who want to remove grass from their yards for gardening or landscaping often reach for the tiller. Tillers use sharp blades to break up the grass. This process not only clears out the vegetation, but leaves organic matter in the soil, which is beneficial to new gardens. One of the most important aspects of tilling is removing the large chunks of grass the tiller leaves behind. If this step isn’t performed properly, the grass can take root again and grow where it shouldn’t.

Things You'll Need

  • Small hand shovel
  • Metal rake

Pick the large chunks of grass up from the ground with your hands. Shake any loose soil off of the chunks. Use a small hand shovel to break large pieces of soil off of the grass clump to use in the garden. Throw the grass in the trash or compost pile.

Rake over the tilled area, once the large pieces are gone. Raking will collect and remove the smaller pieces of grass. You’ll likely have to make several passes over the area to remove the grass. The rake typically leaves a small amount of grass; however, you’ll address this situation later. Use a metal rake – wooden or plastic rakes typically aren’t strong enough to remove the grass and soil.

Lower the tiller two more clicks and make two more passes over the dirt area. This process typically destroys any remaining grass and loosens up the soil so that it becomes light and manageable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the highest setting on the tiller when you make your first pass. This setting just breaks up the soil, allowing you to remove the large pieces of grass. Using lower settings causes the grass clumps to mix in with the soil, making removal difficult.
  • Avoid over-tilling your soil, as it exposes earthworms and beneficial organisms to sunlight, which kills them.

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