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What to do with sod?

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by ddiiggy, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. ddiiggy

    ddiiggy Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2008
    What do I do with a pile of ~40 yards of sod/grass lumps that was stripped off of building pad site?

    Could spread it out. Make a rough it over in the corner. Awful to try to mow and keep weeds down.

    Leave it piled? The current pile isn't hurting anything. It just isn't regular to leave a pile.

    One acre flat lot. It is my own lot so I can take it or leave it.

    How many years would it take to break down? Sod grinder? Should I water it? let it dry out?

    Somehow, I have just never before had a lumpy pile of sod to mess with.
  2. tloft

    tloft Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    Glen Mills, PA
    Raised garden beds using sod and old wood

    HUGELKULTURE ....Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your raised garden bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets - so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightly longer growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water - and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing garden crops in the desert with no irrigation.

    The link has many illustrations.
  3. robin yates uk

    robin yates uk Senior Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    as long as there are no builders rubbish in the soil, leave for 12 months then advertise as top soil
  4. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . . as per post #3. Sod usualy breaks down into a high grade compost/soil product. It would probably benifit from an occasional turning. . .half your luck, I wouldn't mind having it here.

  5. bowen

    bowen Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Electrical Panel Builder
    N. GA USA
    Different places all over have different sub-soils.
    So it depends on what kind of dirt is in the pile.
    Here the top soil may be 6-8" thick with rocky clay underneath. This underneath is good to fill holes with but otherwise not much use.
    What I would do is to NOt leave it piled up to grow weeds, briars, or small trees/brush.
    Move it while it's soft with a backhoe: otherwise it will get hard and require equipment to break it all up later.
    If the pile is decent top soil find someplace that needs it or sell it.
    I went thru this a few years back and they did a poor job of putting just the good top soil in a seperate pile. When you get this mixed up with rocky dirt it's hard to use or sell.
    Mine was in a pasture so I dug it all out and spread it the best I could leveling places getting the water away from the new barn.
    My mistake was waiting for 6 years and it was a hard pile to dig up and move.

    Do something with it now so you can at least mow or use a bush-hog.
    The photo was after I had already been worked on the pile; it was originally about 10 feet tall with even small trees growing.
    I do not have a dozer so I used the hoe and loader then my old Case 470 tractor with a box scrape to finish.

    West_Pile_480_10-27-11 014.jpg West_Side_480_10-27-11 015.jpg