Sunday, December 4, 2011

Edging and Removing Turf for more Garden: Fall Gardening Task #7

Adding another foot on the front of the Hill Garden
I did one of my very favorite and hardest gardening tasks in November:  
tearing out sod to create more garden.
I staked a cord at the point of Cherry Corner and unraveled it down the front of the garden. I like to step back and look it over, and readjust to fit where I want the garden to meet the grass. Then I cut with my flat spade as close to the line as possible, always checking to make sure it is still straight. Winding the string back up, I move on to the hard work of prying up the turf which is made much easier after a day of rain to soften it. I like to use the pieces flipped over to make more garden beds, throw it on the compost pile (which has very limited space in our town lot), or in this case, gift it to my garden-making friends to make their own gardens (thanks Angela!).

A wheel barrow and industrial garbage bags were necessary this time around
I planted more creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) all along the front edge of the gardens because it makes a nice low-growing edging plant, is evergreen through our zone 5 winters, is covered in purple flowers in May, and matures quickly.  All of the creeping phlox on our property is the same color because it has all been divided from one plant that started as a tiny piece in a four-inch pot from my nursery working days. I am most happy about adding the extra space to the Hill garden because the silvery lamb's ears (Stachys byzantine) have taken over this year, so the balance will be restored (temporarily) by adding more room for phlox.
Planted up before the last leaves fell
The biggest reasons for the extra fall-season labor are because I enjoy a nice clean garden edge for the winter months, and because it gives the plants a head start on their root growth before next season.

Fall Gardening Tasks Series:

#1 Planting Lavender in wet climates

#2 New perennials for fall planting

#3 Thin Perennial Seedlings

#4 Bring in the tender plants (more whimsy than informative)

#5 Mowing leaves into Turf 

# 6 Planting Spring Bulbs


  1. I had hoped to have more time to remove turf for more garden but ran out of it will be planning this winter for sod removal this spring...the border sounds lovely

  2. You make it look easy, but I know that was hard work, and it looks so nice. It will be so pretty by spring.

  3. It is very hard work. Over here you can hire a machine to do it. I'm all for no grass and more garden.I do like lamb's lugs even if they take over...


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