The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: hughesy on February 16, 2010, 10:32:55 am

Title: Removing Turf
Post by: hughesy on February 16, 2010, 10:32:55 am
Anyone used a turf cutter like the kind available to hire from most builders hire shops? Planning on creating a large new veg plot just wondered if anyone has any experience of them?
Title: Re: Removing Turf
Post by: Wizard on February 16, 2010, 11:28:25 am
Hello Not in my hand but the head gardener at Brocklesby Park hired one to do what you seem to want to do I videod him using it.It appeared to be a Hayter rotary mower but instead of a spinning grass topper it had a foot wide hoe blade that vibrated The gardener pushed it along with not much effort and then,cut the 12" x 50yard strips into 30" pieces and rolled them up ready to be move to the Hall  You've seen it outside the garden center i'm sure on pallats.Its quite expensive to buy as well The grass turfs I mean.;D :farmer:
Title: Re: Removing Turf
Post by: Norfolk Newby on February 16, 2010, 11:55:32 am
It's worth remembering that a lot of the best soil and nutrients are in the turf. If you make a stack of the turf, it will rot down the grass in 3-6 months and produce good soil for planting seeds or to spread back on the soil.

If you dig the subsoil once the turf is removed, it will produce a better draining bed for vegetables but may need some well rotted manure or compost dug into it before it will be productive. You could use chemical fertilisers, but...

Title: Re: Removing Turf
Post by: Micko on February 16, 2010, 01:27:43 pm
Alright Hughesy....I've got a small landscaping business and we've used the turf cutters you can hire from builders merchants fairly regularly. Best if the grass isn't too long and if the soil is reasonably moist. If too hard and dry the cutter tends to skip across the surface. They do a good job and only take off a thin slice which is then easily rolled up and could be stacked up and covered to compost down as NN suggests.
Alternatively you could cover the area with membrane, wait for it to die off and then rotovate it in so you keep the goodness in the soil.
Title: Re: Removing Turf
Post by: hughesy on February 16, 2010, 08:54:48 pm
Thanks folks. Just got to wait for it to stop raining/snowing/sleating and a day or two when the ground isn't frozen solid now.
Title: Re: Removing Turf
Post by: Wizard on February 20, 2010, 03:21:31 pm
Its also worth remembering that Cockchaffer grubs and wireworm grubs (Click Beetles) all live in the grass roots and its a good way to get rid of them ;D :farmer: