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Preparing to make a raised flowerbed

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Preparing to make a raised flowerbed

Postby Suzieqh » Jun 24, 2008 9:13 am

I'm trying to create a new raised flower bed at our home and would like to do it the right way. I have a flower bed at our camp and it is doing fine, but this one, hopefully will be more planned and therefore require less shifting of the plants as I go along. There is some debate on if we should remove the grass from the part of the lawn where we intend to put the new bed. I thought the grass should be removed therefore making less weeding in the future, however someone said that if you just place the new topsoil/garden mixture over the grass, the grass would die and you would save on the amount of topsoil that you need to use to get the bed at the desired heigth (12 inches) above the lawn. We are intending to put the mesh between the topsoil and the mulsh, but is it allright to leave the grass? Another question is what is the best mixture for flower beds. The supplier I talked to said he had a triple mix 80% organic. That seemed a little higher than the other triple mixes, so I ordered 2 yards of triple mix and 2 yards of garden soil (40%) to start. Do you think this mixture will be OK to start my flower bed. I will attach a picture of our yard later today. Thanks for any advise you can give.
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Postby TrailBlaze » Jun 24, 2008 9:32 am

Whenever I have left grass, and put topsoil over it, the grass comes through. Grass is so strong in any garden, it always seems to win out over anything else. I would remove it.
Diane zone 5a
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Postby Grannygardener » Jun 24, 2008 10:12 am

Removing it is a big job. Cut it real short,cover with at least 10 layers of newspaper , dampen the newspaper and cover with your new soil. The newspaper smothers the grass. Edie
I've spent most of my time in the garden,the rest I've wasted. Edie Zone4A, Ont.
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Postby Suzieqh » Jun 24, 2008 11:08 am

Thanks Diane and Edie, I give the newspaper a try in the first bed.
Suzie
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Postby dogmatique » Jun 28, 2008 11:26 pm

Sometimes the grass will come through the newspaper anyways. I've also used card boad and it does the same. I simple add more newspaper and more bark mulch. Usually 2 applications will do, with one year apart. A lot of people around her go to stores such as RONA and get the timber rap and use that in their gardens. This has a more successful rate than newspaper but I wouldn't use it near any trees.

Colleen
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Postby Venice » Jun 29, 2008 1:14 am

We rented a tiller and tilled it all up, then added the newspaper and some landscape fabric. Then we cut slits for the plants. This was 4 years ago. No more landscape fabric now, but it did seem to help that first year as well.

Ven
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Postby TrailBlaze » Jun 29, 2008 10:17 am

I added a carpet, covered it with black plastic garbage bags, and 2 years later, you'd never know I had done anything to it. I've got wild blackberries and raspberries coming through, as well as all kinds of grass. Sheesh.

good luck with it!
Diane zone 5a
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Postby Suzieqh » Jun 29, 2008 7:08 pm

Thanks everyone, we have started the project by removing the grass, filling with garden mix, and have purchased some garden fabric. Had a great weekend shopping for perennials. Hopefully it's not to late in the year to plant. Now all I need is sunshine.
Suzieq
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Postby Mike » Jun 30, 2008 7:29 am

I know I'm a little late replying (since you've already done it ;) ) but in case someone else reads this thread and wants to remove grass ...

It's actually easier to do than some people think and if it's done at the right time of year it will take from an hour to a half day depending on the size of the area.

You just need a sharp spade and something to hold the sod you pull up. Then you just lift up a small area to start and shove your spade just under the sod and keep jabbing it in there and lifting out the sod pieces. If you do this in the spring when the ground is soft there is limited strain on your back and the sod comes out in big pieces. I pulled the sod out of the majority of my backyard this season and it was so easy. Starting is daunting but once you start it, it's a breeze. It took me about 2 hours to pull up an area about 14x8'. You'll still need to till the earth after removing the grass if you are planting directly on it but for a raised bed you're all done.

Of course, smothering the grass with newspaper/cardboard is so much easier but I'm impatient :D
Mike
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Postby Suzieqh » Jun 30, 2008 5:53 pm

Thanks Mike, I spent hours today making the design another 2 feet wider than originally planned. Wish I could say the grass came up easy, but it was far from easy but enjoyable just the same. Time for a relaxing bath.
Thanks for your help. I'll keep it in mind for the new beds next spring.
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