Thinking of turning your lawn into something special? Dreaming of starting a flowerbed or growing your very own herb garden? Or would you want to build a mini aviary with your very own bird bath? How about creating a walk way?
Removing sod can be very labor-intensive and expensive if you pay someone to do it for you. But if you want to give the green grass a heave-ho, there is a way to skin the grass. If the grass you walk on is soft, then you'll have an easy time digging.
If it is hard as rock then get ready to go down on your knees and get all dirty. Just prepare for some aches and sores. To the strong willed and to those who can take manual labor, digging might be quicker and cleaner at the end, and you can plant your garden immediately.
The trick of the trade is to water the soil days before the digging date. It should at least be moist enough to not give you a hard time. Don't drown the soil. This will make it heavy and harder for plant growth for your garden.
Using a sharp spade cut the sod into 1 foot wide parallel strips. Then further cut these into 1-2 foot lengths. Lift it a bit, slide the spade under and cut any roots, then fully lift the sod, with grass roots and all.
Then roll the strips up. Bigger strips will need a sod cutter. Check the subsoil for pests like beetle larvae, rocks or roots. Avoid using chemicals. The bad thing is that digging exposes subsoil to weeds and digging can take a lot of your energy. So before the dig, don't forget to sharpen those tools and give those muscles a good stretch!