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carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/2/17 4:32 p.m.

What's an easy way for stripping grass off and leaving a semi-smooth surface so I can then apply bricks for a patio extension?

I'm sure some of you are bound to have done this.

I've built several block patios but they always were on bare ground and then I added grass around it. This time I have a very well grassed area I'd like to convert to a patio extension for the gas grill.

It will be about 20' X 10' so I'd rather not have to dig. Since it's what passes for winter here in Texas and the grass is dormant I thought this would be a good time.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte UltraDork
1/2/17 4:42 p.m.

Burn it? You will still have root structure though, best way is to dig. But you knew that.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
1/2/17 4:54 p.m.

You can rent one here by the day, it's called a Sod Cutter

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/2/17 6:52 p.m.

Boy that looks excessive for such a small area as what I've got, but I'll look into it tomorrow if I can't find anything else.

I was thinking there had to be a manual way to do the same thing.

Oh, and this section abuts the house so I don't think burning would be the wise choice

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/2/17 7:01 p.m.

A flat bladed shovel. Cut the grass into squares and strip it like sod.

Ojala
Ojala Dork
1/2/17 7:30 p.m.

What are you 20 again?

I'd rent a sod cutter and hire some help to lay bricks

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 SuperDork
1/2/17 7:33 p.m.

Maybe set up a pole and toss a wad of singles at it?

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/2/17 9:33 p.m.
Ojala wrote: What are you 20 again? I'd rent a sod cutter and hire some help to lay bricks

STILL! I'm 20 still, in my head.

Some people never grow up.

I hardly ever hire work out, no one seems to do it right. I understand this isn't rocket science but it's much more satisfying when you've done it yourself.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
1/2/17 10:03 p.m.

I used a flat bladed shovel and lots of muscle to remove the lawn around where we put the garden boxes. For patio bricks, once the grass is gone, getting it level is a secondary step that is probably best accomplished with an under fill of pea gravel or sand for drainage.

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
1/2/17 10:27 p.m.

I can't think of the name of the tool but it looks like a pick but it has a flat blade that is parallel to the ground when you swing it. I use it with my legs spread wide and skim the grass off with it. Maybe some one will come up with the name.

But really with that much to clear I would rent a sod cutter and be done much faster. Also you're going to have to put down a layer of mixed rock, gravel, and sand to make a firm smooth base for the pavers. A powered compactor is the only way to do this fast as well.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/2/17 10:31 p.m.
jimbbski wrote: I can't think of the name of the tool but it looks like a pick but it has a flat blade that is parallel to the ground when you swing it. I use it with my legs spread wide and skim the grass off with it. Maybe some one will come up with the name.

A scythe? (e.g. Grim Reaper weapon)

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
1/2/17 11:39 p.m.
jimbbski wrote: I can't think of the name of the tool but it looks like a pick but it has a flat blade that is parallel to the ground when you swing it.

That's a mattock.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
1/3/17 12:01 a.m.

More or less like Brett said, I think for a proper patio you need to go well below where you want bricks, do crushed gravel for drainage, then I think a barrier sheet, then sand, which gets leveled to the right height for the pavers. I might have the barrier at the wrong layer.

daeman
daeman HalfDork
1/3/17 2:32 a.m.

Weed killer? It's probably the least physically demanding option if you really want to get rid of the grass.

Otherwise, if you don't need to dig, why not cut the grass down as short as possible and then put plastic down over the remaining grass. Put your bedding sand over the plastic, compact and lay bricks as per normal. By the time you've got plastic, 2-4" inches of sand and a layer of bricks, that grass isn't going to get any light and will die off.

We've also used wet down old news papers to kill off grass for garden beds. Bonus is thy just break down into the garden bed once they're done Killing off the grass

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
1/3/17 6:08 a.m.

I just park cars wherever I don't want grass anymore. Oh, and I have about a half-dozen old scythes like pictured above, though shipping them may be challenging.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
1/3/17 7:52 a.m.

Rototiller? depending on the soil.

who doesn't know somebody w/ a rototiller

that sod cutter is slick

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
1/3/17 7:55 a.m.

No easy way unless you want to rototill or rent a sod cutter.

More to the point, are you not going to dig out a proper depth and fill with a stable base anyways?

Easy way if working by yourself is to use a square shovel (not too big ) and first cut our a bunch of small squares. then just skim in from the side to remove each side.

If working with a helper, cut out strips and have the helper pull back on the strip as you keep attacking the front.

Soaking the hell out of the area might help if you have the kind of soil that turns to concrete when dry.

There is this thing, but I don't see it as being the answer unless you put a mule in front.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
1/3/17 8:01 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

anymore, anything w/o a motor on it looks like hard work

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
1/3/17 10:56 a.m.
fasted58 wrote: In reply to NOHOME: anymore, anything w/o a motor on it looks like hard work

When doing our back garden, I used the wife on the end of the shovel. Worked fine and I was not sore at the end of the day.

collinskl1
collinskl1 New Reader
1/3/17 11:30 a.m.

Sod cutter is the way to go unless you have access to a bored highschool kid or hungry college kid and a flat nosed shovel. The shovel won't be easy and won't leave a very nice surface either.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
1/3/17 11:45 a.m.

Spinning the mud tires on my Jeep seems to have done a very effective job on some of the grass surrounding my driveway.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
1/3/17 12:54 p.m.
NOHOME wrote:
fasted58 wrote: In reply to NOHOME: anymore, anything w/o a motor on it looks like hard work

When doing our back garden, I used the wife on the end of the shovel. Worked fine and I was not sore at the end of the day.

nice catch

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/3/17 12:59 p.m.

I've built multiple block patios, walkways, etc. so I'm no stranger to the proper way to build these things. It's just that all the ones I've built before were on bare ground and I added the grass later.

I wasn't smart enough to realize that I would want to extend the patio when I built the house or I'd have just poured the patio larger.

I'm still in my jammies since I got up and immediately went to work on the computer - I get to do that sometimes, but when I finally get through here I'm going to go look into renting the sod cutter.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
1/3/17 1:04 p.m.

If you do it by hand, would it be easier if you hosed it down and saturated the area?

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/4/17 4:16 p.m.

Power sod cutters are $65 for 4 hours and $100 for a day. When you figure loading, unloading and travel time I only get about 2-2.5 hours of work if I go for the 4 hour option.

I should be able to do it all in that time period if I don't rest and I take my pee breaks down my leg while I'm working.

I found out that I have to cut a trench on the beginning end so if I do that before I pick up the cutter then I should make it. Now to find day that has both nicer weather AND free time for me.

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