new flower beds


Old 06-14-03, 07:52 PM
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new flower beds

We have new grass after seeding last fall. I want to add landscaping beds and am wondering if it is possible to avoid tearing up the sod before I plant bushes. In the past I have had great success in the fall laying newspaper down in new beds and adding mulch on top. by spring my beds are ready to plant. Has anyone done this in the summer with any success?
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Old 06-14-03, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
I smother things in the summer as well as the other seasons. When I pick a place for a bed that was prepared as part of the original work, which was all tilled. I mark it off, cut it close, apply 8 inches of ground wood mulch, and go from there. This kills most ot the weeds and grass. If the mulch has been composted, I plant in it straight away. Otherwise, I provide a nest of good soil and some balanced fertilizer to make up for the nitrogen uptake from the wood.

I see no reason why the newspaper and mulch won't work in the summer, only faster because of the heat.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-14-03, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
New flower beds

And, to avoid straight lines in your landscape, you can take your water hose and spread it out to outline your bed. Cover the area within your curved bed and mulch over. Newspapers work great. My parents finally caught on in their later years to use newspapers as mulch and ground cover in their gardens. When I saw this, I thought, they were finally getting with the program. Of course, both had green thumbs and you don't tell your parents anything.

Don't remove newspapers when you start to dig, just dig in for the new shrubs and plants. Using an odd number when it comes to selecting a variety of shrubs works best. Don't plant the same type of shrub along the foundation. Place the lowest growing shrub near entries with the highest at the corner of the house. Placing the final shrub at the corner of the house beyond the corner will add dimension to the width of your home. Making bed deep enough from front to back will give you room to plant a border of annuals or perennials in front. Take into consideration the mature size of shrubs in placement. Make sure too that you plant outside the overhang of the roof of your home. I once lived in a home that had a large overhang where I was constantly watering because plants had no natural rainfall.

You can also check with your local Dept. of Agricultural Extension Agent for a lists of shrubs, annuals, and perennials that do well in your particular Growing Zone. Garden centers don't always sell plants that do well in the areas where they sell them. One of the safest and best ways for landscaping plants is to turn to Mother Nature and see what natural plants thrive in your area and incorporate them into your landscape. Exotic species and plants that are not native can sometimes be a challenge. Plants tend to be sensitive to soil and climatic conditions. Viewing local gardens and parks will give you a clue as to what thrives in your area. If you have annual Garden Club tours in your area, this is always a treat and very helpful in making selections for your garden.

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