I have made a number of vegetable gardens in my life, but never one without removing the sod first.
Oh yeah, once I tried the wet newspaper method. It didn't seem terribly successful to me, because the grass was still going strong months later under the newspaper. And the cow manure I piled on top of the newspaper was weedy beyond belief, and it all wound up to be kind of a mess, until I got a plow in there to rip up and bury the sod.
But that was in a different, much more fertile place. In my city yard in Saratoga Springs, the soil is sheer beach sand. The grass doesn't really want to grow here anyway.
While I intended to rip all the sod off this spot, I exhausted myself last weekend ripping up sod down the street to expand the Lake Avenue Elementary School Garden. I decided instead to listen to all the Rant readers who told me just to pile compost on top of the sod and plant into that.
This is what I've got to work with–a 7-yard pile of composted yard waste delivered at the bargain price of $140 by the city. It's cooked into oblivion. It's dense, it's wet. I cannot imagine a blade of grass surviving after being buried in four or five inches of this stuff and being totally deprived of sunlight.
So I am giving the laziest of all garden-making methods a try. I'll let you know how it goes.