So if you know me at all, you know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan... I couldn't help but think of the scourgify spell as I raked the grass clippings from the area that will be my expanding raspberry patch next year.
To prepare for tilling, I used my ever finicky weed whip to essentially buzz cut the space. The grass growing there has been there for a very long time and had formed a thick thatch that any tiller would groan about. On top of that grows a good 2' tall stand of dead or dying fall grass. It's very satisfying to hold the weed whip on an angle and cut straight down to the soil. Of course it's a lot of stress for the whip and that's probably why it's so finicky in the first place, but it sure beats doing it by hand with a thatching rake!
You can see in the first photo on the outside of the (ever sagging) deer fencing that the grass is tall and thick and would be impossible to till over.
The additional bonus in all of this is the grass clippings afterward. Our landlady has a lawn crew with a super efficient mulch mower and so access to grass clippings is pretty minimal for me. Grass clipping are essential in lasagna gardening and since I'm giving that a shot for my raised cinder block beds I'm in dire need of "green" compost that will produce nitrogen as it breaks down... Of course I do have the duck manure which is full of nitrogen, but I remember reading that nitrogen from manure fixes differently into the soil than nitrogen from grass clippings. I got an entire wheelbarrow (contractor size, too) full of grass clippings that I intend to shred with my leaf shredder and then add to my raised beds. Not a bad haul for a cloudy November morning!