Tales of Turf Removal: Part 1

Sue, a resident of the City of Boulder, spearheaded a turf removal project in the common area of her HOA. The section of lawn that she chose had a 30 year old irrigation system that badly needed to be replaced. Participation in the program prompted the HOA to replace the old, leaky system and add a drip zone for the new Garden In A Box. The new zone will maximize water savings and cut down on maintenance! With the help of friends, neighbors and a boombox, Sue was able to remove 200 sq. ft. of turf. Learn more about her experience below!

Q: What was your motivation for transforming your landscape?
A: To beautify our little common area with a pollinator friendly garden and conserve water at the save time. I love the pollinators!

Q: What was the most challenging part of the project?
A: Coordinating the various stages of the project around the people who were participating and keeping incidental costs to a minimum.

Q: Do you have any words of advice for future turf removal participants?
A: Some considerations: do you have a way to transport the turf away; do you have the tools available to remove it; do you have the manpower and strength to lift 20 to 40 pounds of turf repeatedly; do you have the funds for the various incidental costs and a drip irrigation system?

Q: What was your favorite part of the project?
A: Neighborhood participation, team work and imagining how lovely the area will look.










2 thoughts on “Tales of Turf Removal: Part 1

  1. Kudos to Sue for spearheading this transformation and to the crew who accomplished the execution of this project!

    Could there have been a way to compost the sod in place? I’ve read about removing the sod, turning it root side up and letting it break down over the fall and winter. A second way is covering the area with cardboard, then layering with manure, compost, and leaves and soaking well; this also needs to be prepared in the fall and wintered over for planting in the spring. This latter method would definitely be less laborious.

    Any drawbacks?

    1. Hi There,

      You are correct, there are several ways to convert a turf area while composting the grass in place. These two methods are generally called Solarization and Lasagna Gardening and are outlined in our Turf Removal 101 document found here: https://resourcecentral.org/gardens/turf-removal-replacement-101/.

      The main drawback for these methods is time. We need our program participants to complete their conversions by the time of our Garden In A Box pick ups in May. That’s why most participants physically remove their turf. However, these are great options for people who have lots of time to complete the conversion!

      Thanks for your thoughtful feedback!

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