We have the raised vegetable garden laid out and now await finding someone who can deliver a truckload of garden soil. I was going to just cover the grass with newspaper and have the soil dumped on top of that--something I read about somewhere--but I ended up digging out all the sod and combing through for rogue roots. I just don't trust that the grass wouldn't burgeon it way through several layers of newspaper or even toxic waste formulated into thick plastic mulch. I've been battling weeds far too long to trust in that.
It does seem that the Japanese beetle battle has swung in my favor since I spayed on the nematodes and milky spore. Last summer there were a few about, but I could keep up with flicking them into a jar and entire areas of the flower beds were NOT denuded. Even the moles, which mike was near the point of attacking with a machine gun, seem to poke around a bit and then move on.
The balance swings back and forth, but the war is never really over. Today when I went out in the morning to finish my sod digging task, I noticed a fresh dig in front of the shed--a woodchuck moving in. I stomped around on the shed floor and banged the shovels but I didn't notice any woodchuck getting the hint and making a hasty exit. He was undoubtedly watching the garden prep from the field out back.