That Darn Grass

I’m starting a new garden bed this year, and it is in an area where our lawn is typically very lush.  I was going to do a lasagna-style (layered) garden, but I don’t have enough dirt for the top layer. The garden is going to be 10×30 feet in size.  So in mid April I decided to try to cover the grass to kill it, which would make tilling it a lot easier, and prevent me from having to dig up all that grass.

I marked the corners of the bed, and then used what I had on hand – large cardboard pieces, plastic tarps, and even a big sheet of metal.  I placed rocks and pieces of wood on top to hold everything down.

Here is what it looked like with all the supposedly-grass-killing coverings:

Here is the bed with tarps, cardboard, and even metal trying to cover / kill the grass.
Here is the bed with tarps, cardboard, and even metal trying to cover / kill the grass.

I uncovered it all today because I’d like to start getting it ready – I have plants waiting to go in.  I could tell over the last month that there were areas I’d still have to pull grass out from.  I found out today that the plastic tarps acted more as a greenhouse for the grass than as a grass killer.  The cardboard was the best thing – those areas are almost bare – the soil will be a lot easier to till.  The metal sheet worked well also.  Sheets of plywood or particle board would work as well – I found this out by accident when we left some scraps out a few weeks ago in an area where we didn’t want the grass killed.

I’m not going to be doing any tilling for a couple days, so I took the cardboard pieces and placed them over the still-very-grassy areas, in an effort to at least keep the grass from getting any bigger in those spots.  Here is my bed now:

Here's my garden bed as of today.
My garden bed as of today.
Darn grass!  Here's a small strip I'll have to dig up.
Darn grass! Here’s one small strip I’ll have to dig up.

Once I get it all tilled, I will be fencing it in, and then planting!  I think this little guy is excited too:

Chipmunk on our flower barrel, waiting for sunflower seeds to fall from our feeder so he can steal them.
Chipmunk on our flower barrel.

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