Turning a grass island into a bed....

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by eggy, Mar 17, 2002.

  1. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 947

    This post will show my lack of experince, however we have been in the lawn mowing buisness for some time. It seems we are getting asked more as time goes on about landscaping, and I am a bit scared about estimating jobs having little knowledge about landscaping. One question I hope you can answr is how do you turn a small grass island into a bed ready for plant installation. Do you use a sod cutter to remove the grass from the island or simply rototill the grass into the soil???? Thanks for helping out this landscape virgin...
  2. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Posts: 116

    To turn a lawn area into a landscape garden only takes a few steps.
    1) Mark off the borders of the garden
    2) Spray inside the boundaries with Glyphosate (Round-up)
    3) Dig out the edges
    4) Plant your plants once the Glyphosate is gone from the soil
    5) Apply about 2 - 3 inches of fresh mulch
    6) Water in new plants
    7) Get paid
  3. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    If it's a "small" area, my guys prefer to use a grub ax for sod removal, but a sod cutter is the best tool. Either way, DEFINITELY REMOVE THE TURF. If you till it under, it will come back unless your using a weed cloth or barrier.

    Don't be shy about getting into landscaping, one job can make as much as several mowings. Plus, if you offer the service, it will keep the competition from getting their foot in your clients door.

    Here is a quick formula for estimating this type of work. Whatever considerations you make when estimating, my advice is not to ever get cought up in th pricing method "materials x 2.5" or similar.Prep time and conditions such as accessibility must be considered and that formula neglects these factors.

    material costs x 1.5 =________ ( adjust 1.5 for your mark-up )
    + # manhours x Rate=________ ( $ 25 - $30 / hour ? )

    = Total Price ________

    Don't forget to consider things like travel and load time in your manhours. Hope this helps. Or did you ask what time it was and I tried to build you a watch?

    Good Luck, Landscraper
  4. E-man

    E-man LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 136

    I agree definately get rid of the turf. If its a small area and you dont want to rent a sod cutter you could always rent a manual sod kicker. Just a thought
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    I'm with landscraper on this one. An 8" grub hoe is good, sliding an edging spade under is good, a sod cutter is great. You won't have to wait for the roundup to kick in either. If you do use roundup, cut ou the border first because if the grass has long spreading rhizomes it could be dying quite a long way away from where you want it to.
  6. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    I don't mess with hoes.... LoLs But a sod cutter works great. In my area I can rent one for min of 2 hours or by the day. See if you can rent one by the hour or take the min time. You sould knock the sod cutting out quick. And don't worry they will show you how to use the cutter before you leave. Just make sure that in the bed their are not any landscape lights. Some times landscape lighting wires are dug shallow. Be careful ask if you don't know. Also watch for sprinkler heads. I tell you as I would tell my guys be careful, take your time, and ask if you don't know.
  7. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    I think a raised bed is the best. This also helps with drainage.
  8. chargincharlie5

    chargincharlie5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    of you use round up you will have to wait till it all leaves the ground before you can plant this can take weeks pull it up after your done then get ya a hoe lol
  9. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    One thought that nobody mentioned :

    If you are stripping the sod and you have to dispose of it don't forget to add the disposal fee and the time in to the estimate, as well as the rental for the stripper/sod kicker.

  10. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 287

    Great point, JEFFYR!

    Also, CHARGINCHARLIE, I understood Round-Up to be very non-persistent, in fact Lesco told me that it becomes inert in soil. It should only affect living plants that it actually touches.

    Anyone clear this up? I never had a problem.


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