Easy Way to Add a Garden Bed

Alicia W
by Alicia W
5 Materials
2 Hours

Dreaming of a new flower bed but don't feel liking removing all that grass? Here's an easy and fast way to create a new bed without using chemicals.

We wanted to add a garden bed to the edge of our yard.

Begin by laying out the shape of the bed using a hose. With the hose's flexibility, you can create a bed that is any shape.

Using an edging tool (a shovel with a flat edge), cut a "v" trench on either side of the hose.

Remove the sod that was cut.

Lay newspaper on top of the grass in the new bed. Use at least 3 layers of paper, overlapping as you go. You don't want any grass to show.

Work in rows, laying down paper then spraying the paper with water. This will help to hold the paper in place to form a cover over the grass.

Remember to lay newspaper into the trench that was cut, covering the edge of the new bed.

Add mulch over the top of the newspaper. The mulch should be at least 3" thick.

With the combination of the newspaper and the mulch, the grass will be smothered within a year.

We planted a tree in the middle of the bed before mulching.

Allow at least a year before planting any flowers. This will give the newspaper and mulch enough time to smother the grass. Once you are ready to plant flowers, carefully move the mulch to the side and dig a hole through the paper and the dead grass.

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 7 questions
  • Sue Peet Sue Peet on May 19, 2017
    Has anyone ever tried using leaves from the Fall from the past year? That's what I'm trying now, its free. You remove too many of the nutrients when you dig up the grass so I thought if I used a thick layer of leaves over the grass that it would kill the grass. I guess it depends on the leaves, I'm using Maple leaves.

  • Olga Olga on Jun 15, 2019

    I having trouble with mouth hurting my plans what can I do to get rid of them. Thank you for sharing

  • Msaspen1 Msaspen1 on Aug 15, 2019

    Does this work for weeds too.? I am using newspaper now, 10 layers and mulch. Works great. I'm thinking the cardboard would work just as well.Thanks

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2 of 39 comments
  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Aug 20, 2019

    I lay plastic over the grass and leave it for a couple of weeks. It kills the grass & weeds making it easy to dig out and I don't have to wait a couple of years for my enlarged beds to be ready to plant.

  • Ruth Ruth on Feb 27, 2022

    I did all the gardens around my apartment building using this method. We have clay soil and this method changes the composition of the clay into usable soil. It has to be newspaper though. Something about newsprint works.