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 Post subject: Mulching over grass.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:43 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Southern Ontario Zone 5
Well the good news is I got a new toy -- a larger tractor with a 62" blade and a front end loader (too cool to even contemplate, I had a blast today although hubby told me to wear my cell phone just in case I had to call 911). However when I cut I now can't get the same corners I could with my old 44" mower so I have a LOT of areas that need to be mulched like under the kids playcentre (I used to drive right under it), around trees in a larger circle, among some evergreens etc. It's way too much to dig up the grass and I'm hesitant to use that much roundup especially in the kids' areas. I understand you can cut the lawn low, cover it with paper then mulch real deep. How thick should the paper be? Can I do this with corrigated cardboard? We have a lot from some shelving we put up recently.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:38 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Southern Maryland
I did some gardens that way this past fall it works great :!: On one bed I layed down newspaper about 5 sheets deep. On the other I used cardboard, thick cardboard.

Go for it. I think the cardboard works better. Cut the grass low just like you planned. Cover with cardboard. Make sure the ends overlap. If they just butt together some weeds and grass could grow threw it.

Water it real good. Do you have a bagger on that new toy. I would spread all that grass your clipping on top of the cardboard to help speed up the process.

Then you can add your mulch, you wont see the stuff underneath.

It works great. I know the flower beds I did were almost completely broken down, and the few weeds that came through pulled out so easy.

good luck

carey

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:43 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Southern Ontario Zone 5
thanks carey, I'll follow your advise, I didn't think about getting it wet first.

No I didn't get the bagger. I figure if I cut my cutting time down from 1 1/2 hours to 45 minutes I can keep up cutting often enough not to need one. In the past if the lawn was long I cut so that I ended up with "strips" that I just raked up. Didn't find it that bad that often except sometimes in the fall. I have LOTS of mulch though as the local tree cutting company just brought by 30-35 yards for $150! (Hence the request of hubby that I get a loader). Oh, happy hauling tomorrow!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:38 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Southern Maryland
That is a good price for mulch. At least compared to what it is around here.

You dont need the grassclippings it just helps to break it down faster. If your not planting in those beds it really doesnt make a difference. Besides if the cardboard lasts longer it'll probly do an even better job of getting rid of those weeds.

The only reason for the water is to keep it in place and help it break down. The water is very helpful on a windy day. lol I know that for a fact. I had to water it as I went to keep it from blowing down the street. :shock:

Have fun with that new toy :!:

Carey

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 Post subject: Re: Mulching over grass.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:43 pm
Posts: 585
Location: Upstate New York
I find my bagger invaluable in collecting both grass clippings and the fall leaves for compost and mulch for the garden. Some years, I let the grass grow a bit into the fall, then mow and collect leaves and this either gets mounded for some serious vermicompost or gets tilled directly into the vegetable garden.

Edit: Experimenting now.... used my DR trimmer to cut down a field of tall (waist high) grass/weeds. Am going to let dry a couple of days, then instead of raking, going to mow with my lawn tractor/bagger and collect the 'mulch hay' for mulch in the garden. I believe the chopped material will be very good.
Update: The above worked very well - I let it dry for two days, then went over slowly (and small 'bites') to chop and pickup the 'hay'. I have a nice pile of mulch to use in the garden. This worked well enough to consider over-seeding in the fall with timothy or alfalfa or a mix.
Still need to clear [even] more or that area.

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 Post subject: Re: Mulching over grass.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:17 pm
Posts: 30
What you're describing goes by the practice...Lasagna Gardening....lasagna as being in layers.
The idea is to deprive the soil of sunlight while at the same time giving it some organic material which, hopefully, breaks down in a required time interval so that you can then use the area.
Unfortunately, some methods employed just end up with a messy concoction of newspapers half gone, weed seeds still active, and not enough sun to bake= raise the temperature.

One expert....as heard on CBC Radio Canada....advises using 10 to 12 pages of newspaper laid down to which is covered with at least 2"....4" better...of soil, to which is laid over by a black plastic sheet held down by bricks. The heat of the sun does the rest.

Cardboard has been said to work better.....but cardboard, if you are worried about it, is made up of paper held together by glue....and its the glue that doesn't break down as newspaper does. Any newspaper, even the colored kind, breaks down well.
Oh.....you are supposed to dampen the newspaper first before covering.

Attempting to accompish something where the sun doesn't shine is suggesting that it will take a lot more time.
Such lasagna gardening should be started when there is time for the sun to act and give results that can be used sometimes in that season.....or plan on next season.
And dont be surprised there are still some weeds show up.


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 Post subject: Re: Mulching over grass.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:14 pm
Posts: 5
I have been contemplating getting a bagger to start mulching. I have the space in my yard that is kind of naturally build for storing the clippings. Although after reading this, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't buy a bigger mower! What do you guys do with your compost? It sounds like some of you have a lot of compost. How do you guys move the compost? Has anyone considered wheel loaders? It seems like the if we create the space, we need to put the compost to good use. A wheelbarrow seems like a lot of work!


Last edited by gardenerindulge on Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mulching over grass.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
I never run out of places to put compost. :mrgreen: You can just keep adding it all season long to keep plants at their premium. But if you do have more compost than you can use, share it around the neighborhood.

I've done a lot of mulching over live grass and it's true that newsprint or cardboard works as the layer under the mulch. Here's a couple of things I learned the hard way. Don't skimp on the paper. The thicker the better. And well overlapped so no light or air can get in. What you're trying to do is smother the grass. And don't skimp on the mulch. I have found that less than 6 inches is iffy if the mulch is quite coarse. Otherwise you still need 4 or 5 inches for maximum efficiency.

This will keep down all but the most persistent weeds. In the spring when the ground is wet, especially if there is a longish wet season, plants with tap roots like dandelions can sometimes take root as the root has time to get down to the soil beneath the mulch before it overheats or dries out. As mentioned, these are incredibly easy to pull and you should have little or no trouble the rest of the season.

Other weed seeds simply don't sprout.

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