No-Till Flowerbed Prep!
As I get older, “Brain over Brawn” is becoming my chief gardening strategy. This No-Till Flowerbed Prep method is a winner when you want to make or improve a planting area in your yard. Easy to do anytime of year, fall is perfect as your site will be ready in time for spring planting!
The directions are simple, and the only cost is my time. First, weed-whack or mow down all weeds (ivy in our case) as low to the ground as possible. Layer cardboard over the whole area (black and white newspaper will also work, 6 to 8 sheets thick or more).
Pile four to six inches of mulched leaves and grass clippings on top of the cardboard. If you don’t have quite enough, ask your neighbors for their clippings! Wet it all down to start the process or wait for a good rain. This organic material will break down slowly and enrich the soil. Think of it as a nicer looking compost pile in place!
The new flowerbed is topped off with pine needle mulch from our big pines. Bagged mulch works equally well. It will look tidy all winter as the cardboard, mulched leaves and grass clippings decompose and make the soil ready for spring planting.
Thank you for sharing these tips & pictures – I have several areas where the ground is too hard to plant but I don’t want to purchase dirt. Hopefully this will work for me to use for the area for planting. xo
Pile it on, Christi! If the soil is very compacted you might want to add to this over a couple of growing seasons. You can add clippings and mulched leaves right around the plants and shrubs!
i am trying this now i so hope it works for our clay soil xx
I did this this fall in order for spring planting. I did at least 3 new beds and I transplanted from other plants to the new beds. I put in tulips as well and I can’t wait to see what it all turns out to look like come spring. You can check it out at my post regarding fall planting http://yo-yoeatingnomore.blogspot.com/2014/09/101-if-you-want-organic-vegetables-and.html
I’ve enjoyed you post.
Thanks for writing, Renee! Part of the magic of gardening is working on a project over time and waiting to see what unfolds, isn’t it?