replacing turf with a raised bed

5 Mar 2006
Reaction score
West Midlands
United Kingdom
I want to remove the turf at the edge of my lawn and create a raised bed. It will be 4m x 1m and raised a few inches above the lawn level. What I need to know is how to remove the turf. As it's not going to be a large bed I don't want to hire any power tools. Is it possible to strip the lawn edge with a shovel? How deep does the layer of turf need to be to successfully remove all the grass? I need to know how deep down to go so that I don't get grass coming back up through the raised bed. Also, what can I do with the layer of turf that is going to be removed? Is it reusable or will the grass always keep growing? There must be some way of resusing it without the grass.

Sponsored Links
If you cut the turf about 2" thick you will have the roots, dig down at the edges then slide spade under, it will lift easily, you then turn the turf upside down & put it on your raised bed or you can dig down on your raise bed & bury it. If you have any areas of lawn that need re turfing you can use it there
if I dig the turf back into what will become my raised bed, won't the grass come back up through the soil? Not sure if grass is the type of plant that keeps growing even if buried. Often, when it looks like it's gone it resurfaces. Don't want to have to keep scaping it off the top of the raised bed, but if you think it will be ok then I will give it a go.

thanks :D
lay it face down and when deprived of the light it will die off very quickly. It contains a lot of nitrogeon which is very good for the plants and will turn into a very good grade of compost
Sponsored Links
I did a similar job late last year, replaced part of the lawn, with a raised bed. I used the old double digging method. Remove the first strip of turf, lay aside, dig a small trench on the exposed ground, remove the next strip of turf, turn upside down and lay at the bottom of the trench, then dig the soil over on to it, and carry on till you are on the last row, and put the first strip of turf into the last trench. Not sure if I have explained this very well :)
The turf you are removing is valuable loam, and should certainly be put back into the ground.
I am having very little problem with grass coming through again, and it is easily weeded if so.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local