Us­ing a flat­head spade

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES -

If you’re in a hurry for root veg­eta­bles — or sim­ply en­joy dig­ging — you’ll have to ap­ply a bit of brawn and use a spade, un­less you plan to rent a gas-pow­ered sod­strip­per to re­move veg­e­ta­tion.

If you don’t have a flat­head spade, now is a good time to get one. Hold­ing the spade up­right, push it down with your foot so that it cuts into the lawn.

Now use the spade to cut an out­line of your gar­den bed into the lawn. Then, within the area of the bed, make long cuts the width of the spade, so you have a se­ries of par­al­lel lines giv­ing a se­ries of rows of turf roughly the width of your spade.

Now comes the re­ward­ing part: Get the spade un­der the edge of one of these rows and hold it nearly hor­i­zon­tal, so that you can use it to chop at the roots of the grass.

Leave as lit­tle soil on the turf as you prac­ti­cally can. When you get the knack of this, you’ll be able to chop and roll back your turf like a roll of sod. Of course, the gas-pow­ered sod-strip­per does this work in a mat­ter of min­utes, but it does make a huge noise, con­trib­utes to pol­lu­tion and has to be picked up and re­turned to the rental shop.

Keep the turf. Pile it, root-side up, and leave it to de­com­pose for the sea­son. It will turn into a fer­tile soil you can add back to your gar­den next year.

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