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How long for over-turned sods to rot ?


 
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bonnamh
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 13
Location: North County Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: How long for over-turned sods to rot ? Reply with quote

Hi,

We are making two new raised beds at the moment
Our plan is to:
1. take the sod (grass and weeds) off the area around beds (will be paths)
2. put the sods upside down into the beds
3. top up beds with topsoil
4. spread sand and weedproof membrane on paths
My question is: how long will it take the sods to rot?
Also, any major issues with doing this, weeds maybe ??
All advice gratefully received!

Thanks in advance,
Bonnamh Smile
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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 291
Location: cork

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi bonnamh,

the worms will take care of those sods for you in a couple of months. Annual weeds will rot back into the soil but if you come across perennial weeds remove every bit of them as they will propagate and cause you grief later. I would question the wisdom of using sand on the paths it will be forever sticking to your shoes, maybe some small stone would be better. Personally I would use a grade called 804, it's big enough to be free draining and small enough to be comfortable underfoot.
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ormondsview
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Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 185
Location: Kenmare, Co. Kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: the long way Reply with quote

My two cents worth is if you have time to invest and can borrow a good roto tiller, I'd go for the long route and do a cover crop. Till the patch, put in wheat or rye, cheap from the agri supplier (where farmer's buy their feed) sow that, let it grow, as it will over the winter and early spring, till it again and your soil will have all the benefits of improved organic composition. The science of it is explained well here http://encyclopedia.stateuniversity.com/pages/5148/cover-crop.html
and I'm sure that anyone on the board who has done cover crop sowing can tell you, what you really want is a good base. Landscape fabric is tacky in my opinion. It's unnatural, the worms are stuck in the soil, how are they supposed to aerate it? You won't have many interesting birds pulling worms out. A good leaf mulch or a sprinkling of that coco bark if bed is small do a much better job.

For more on what to plant to amend soil, this blogger from France, I believe an Irish transplant, has the 3 sisters method of amending soil. http://bloodyparadise.wordpress.com/category/weeding/



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bonnamh
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Location: North County Cork

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks very much both of you for the info
We went for it last weekend and it worked out really really well
Time is always a constraint but for once, with a lot of luck, we ended up with a finished job
Got a man and digger for a few hours, he scrope off the sod, took away some of the rubbish subsoil - of which we have a lot:( and we were left with some sods in compost bin, most buried in this years salad bed, some in this year's potato bed
Topped up the potato bed with WELL rotted horse-manure
Laid sleepers as base for new greenhouse and got that up
For the paths, we did put sand under weedproof for now - only way we could get it done - we had just sand last year and the weeds were a job!
So, a GREAT result, and thanks again for the advise.
Oh fyi we enquired about a rotovator, were told by hire guy that what he had would only hop along surface with the conditions at the moment!
Pics attached of the means and the end
Roll on spring Wink
PS in pulling up last few plants to dig one of last year's beds, I discovered a row of spring onions, perfectly fine and edible hiding in between cabbages and broccoli - they obviously survived the frost and snow, amazing!!!



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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 291
Location: cork

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good fair play to ye and best o luck with the planting. Laughing
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