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.