What To Do With Old Turf?
Whilst I was pontificating about creating a vegetable garden, it struck me that I forgot to mention turf. Firstly, it’s that green stuff under your feet. Secondly, its perhaps the one plant most suited to our British climate, or was. As the climate changes, grass despises long dry spells and cold spells, so who knows. That’s one reason why somebody I know, heartily sick of trying to grow bowling green grass, has given up. He now walks over artificial grass and has an immaculate garden. The environment is discounted. I hate the sheer absurdity and waste associated with cutting grass. When I moved here I reminded Ann that all that grass had to go. The builders turfed every square inch, forgetting entirely their promise of low energy bills. They forgot the mowing! So, what to do with old turf?
I now possess some massive turf heaps, having flayed the turf off the front garden. That garden is now a mass of flowers. I really did not need all that turf in the back garden. However, I started by flaying a single spit across the lawn (see photo). Then each day, I flay another strip and so it goes on. However, lacking space to store it, I used it to create containers for my proposed courgettes. I lay the turf, upside down,to build walls into squares. These will contain soil and compost. They warm up quickly and cougettes, even marrows, like such raised growing spots. They will rot down over time and can then be spread over the vegetable plot. The flaying is the hard work. The strips are cut using a half moon. Then, I use a stainless steel spade to slide underneath to lift it from the soil.
What to do with old turf?
I created the first turf heap in May 2022. However, it is already rotted enough at the bottom to be sliced out with a spade. That is a source of free compost, that is, if you discount the labour involved. It’s also a good gardening maxim on how to create something useful from an otherwise negative situation. Vegetables will feed nurture us. The flowers grown in front of the drystone wall we had built will raise our spirits. I have already planted 850 plants and these will be joined by many more. The bees will make a joyful buzz.