How to Start a New Garden Where Grass Is Growing


The work that goes into planting and tending a garden, whether it be a flower garden or a vegetable garden, will pay off in the form of delicious, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The preparation of the soil is essential to the development of the garden; if it is not done properly, the soil may not contain the nutrients that are required for plants to thrive. Before you can begin the garden, you will need to clear the area of any grass that is there. By removing the grass, not only will there be more space for plants to develop, but there will also be less competition for water and nutrients. If you want to give the soil enough time to condition and enhance itself, you should start preparing the soil the autumn before you want to plant anything.

  1. Pick a spot for the garden bed that is as flat as feasible and has good drainage for the soil. It is important to keep in mind that most flower and vegetable gardens need a minimum of six hours of full light every day.

  2. Using a self-test kit purchased from a gardening supply shop, do an accurate nutrient and pH study of the soil. In most cases, you will only need a little plug of soil for this, but be sure to follow the particular instructions provided on the package of the test kit.

  3. At each of the four corners of the garden bed, drive wooden pegs into the earth with a hammer. Mark the edges of the bed or the borders of the area by tying a thread from stake to stake.

  4. A spade may be used to remove the current turf from the garden bed. To separate the sod from the earth, use a spade to make a cut below the sod. To make removal of the sod simpler, cut it up into smaller chunks. Before tilling the soil, you can kill the current grass using pesticides, but removing the turf entirely prevents the possibility of new plants emerging from tubers and seeds that were left behind. You may use herbicides.

  5. To thoroughly aerate and loosen the soil, turn the garden bed over to a depth of between 8 and 12 inches. To accomplish this task, the tiller may need to make many passes over the garden bed in order to remove any rocks, weeds, roots, and debris.

  6. The garden bed should be raked using a steel rake to eliminate any debris that may have been overlooked by the garden tiller.

  7. If you remove the sod in the fall and allow it to decompose over the winter, it should be ready for use in the spring. If you add the grass and any other plant debris to a compost pile, as desired, and allow it to break down into fertile compost over the course of several months, the sod should be ready to use in the spring. Organic waste that has been composted is loaded with nutrients that can help your garden produce grow. If you don’t remove as much dirt as you can from the grass roots, new grass might start growing in the mulch pile. The intricate web of grass roots contributes, in a good way, to the structure of the soil. When you put the dead grass back in the garden after it has been entirely decomposed, there is no possibility that it will come back to life.

  8. According to the findings of the soil test, amend the soil by adding fertilisers, compost, peat, or any other kind of organic material. The pH of acidic soils may be balanced using lime and soda ash, whereas the pH of alkaline soil can be reduced with iron sulphate. A uniform layer of fertilisers should be spread throughout the garden bed.

  9. Use a shovel or a tiller to incorporate the fertilisers into the soil of the garden bed. To ensure that the nutrients are completely distributed throughout the soil, you may need to till the garden bed more than once.

  10. After the soil has rested for one to two weeks, the nutrients will be able to begin their job, and the soil will have had time to settle. Before planting, give the soil its last preparation by using a steel rake to rake it smooth; this provides the soil the final preparation it needs before planting.

  11. Put landscape edging, field stone, bricks, or landscape timbers around the edges of the garden plot to define its boundaries. This not only clearly defines the garden area for usage in future years, but it also protects the crops from being damaged by mowers and weed trimmers.

  12. Plant the flowers or veggies in accordance with the precise planting instructions provided with the plants.

  13. Place organic mulch with a depth of three to four inches between garden rows and around plants. Examples of organic mulch are shredded bark mulch, newspaper, dried leaves, or straw. Leave a few inches of space around the plants’ bases to allow for growth. The mulch helps prevent the development of weeds and maintains moisture, preventing plants from drying out during the hot days of summer. Since organic mulching material breaks down into nutrient-rich compost over time and adds these critical elements to the soil as it does so, you will need to continue spreading mulch on a regular basis.

  14. After the last harvest in the autumn, sow a cold-resistant cover crop in order to prevent the soil from becoming barren over the course of the winter. Cover crops that can withstand the very cold temperatures include hairy vetch, cereal rye, oats, and winter peas. Regardless of whether or not you decide to harvest the winter cover crop, the decomposing organic material that remains in the soil after crops have grown continues to contribute nutrients to the soil, promotes water and oxygen to penetrate the soil, and improves the structure of the soil. You may use a tiller to incorporate the dead crops into the soil, or you can just leave it on top of the soil to decompose on its own.

    Things You Will Need

    • Wooden stakes

    • String spool

    • Hammer

    • Spade

    • Garden tiller

    • Steel rake

    • Shovel

    • Soil nutrients


    If you have a big garden plot, it may not be practicable to dig up the sod with a shovel or use a tiller, but if you have a small kitchen garden, these methods work quite well. You may make rapid work of a wider area of grass by renting a sod cutter from the hardware store.