Ok I want to start a new flower bed in the back yard (not that it needs it)
We have the awful bermuda grass so
do you dig the grass up with a tiller first then put down cardboard plastic ect? Or put the cardboard, plastic down and then let the grass die under it (if it will) then till it.
I'm hoping to start it this fall so it will be ready to put dirt in in the spring.
thanks for your ideas.
Cardboard or newspaper covered by a mulch material to hide that and hold it in place, but not plastic, will kill your Bermuda grass which will be added to the soil (dirt is what you track into the house). There should not be any reason to need to till that soil in the spring.
Whether you might need some soil in the spring depends on what you have now, but if you decide some is needed be sure you know what you want and do not take whatever someone is selling. "Topsoil" is a meaningless term and simply means the top 4 to 6 inches of soil from someplace. "Garden soil" means even less since there is no definition for that although many sources describe what is known as loam.
Loam can be described as a soil with about 45 percent sand, 25 percent silt, 25 percent clay, and 5 percent organic matter. If you go out to buy soil look for that and if the seller does not have it don't buy what they have.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
I want to kill the grass so it won't come up in the bed at least for a while!!
thanks for the info. I will be needing soil as it is going to be a raised bed (I hope)
silly bird, I have 3 RAISED BEDS and am getting ready to build another.
This is what I do, it may be wrong, but it is still what I do.
I pick the location for my raised bed, then the size. I use an old hose to outline where I am going to put the raised bed. "I" scalp the grass with a weed eater, then I put CARDBOARD in the area I have outlined. Then I put the border around the outline, I usually use ornamental brick, two or three layers high. Then I put in TOP SOIL plus AMENDMENTS plus earth worms. I usually use two cartons of worms, red wigglers is my worm of choice, but nightcrawlers will work in a pinch. Naturally, you mix up your amendments so that you have a good mix and naturally you fill your raised bed to the level YOU want. The soil level in my bed is usually an inch below the brick. It cuts down on the weed seeds that can blow in the bed. Have to admit that I really like my raised beds, cause it is easier for me at my age, plus "I" like the way it looks and my opinion is the only one that counts when it comes to MY flower beds.
Hope I haven't hurt anyones feelings, but if I have...
A good place to get free cardboard is from stores like Best Buy, Home Improvement stores, etc. Big TVs, appliances etc. come in big boxes and they're yours for the asking.
Oh, and be sure to overlap the cardboard when you lay it down.
Thanks Barb. I like the way you think and do things! I need easy to as I am 67!
I have lots of cardboard from my move in June. I won't throw it away and DH thought I was crazy!!
Not sure where I'll get some worms. I've seen some in the yard here but not many. But this being a town on the lake there is bound to be someplace that sells them.
SSTR thanks for the reminder.
I'm sure you didn't step on anyones toes we're all here to help each other! Thanks again.
do you have a walmart near you? they have them, that's where i buy mine. usually any store that sells sporting goods should sell worms.
I like the way Barb does things too. I buy my worms at Wal Mart - great minds.
Silly Bird - are you going to fill the beds now too, or are you just trying to kill the grass over the winter months? I'm sure you know to weight your cardboard down with something if you are not going to immediately fill.
If you collect leaves & such, tossing those into the empty bed will help with extra nutrients before filling too.
No not going to fill right now. Kill grass over winter. No leaves here as I don't have any trees but want to see if I can find someone that is willing to give me their leaves. I'll rake for leaves!!
what about pine needles? i have pine needles and leaves. don't worry about the pine needles changing the ph of the soil. you need quite a few of them to change the ph.
I'll bet pine needles would help this terrible soil. It's clay and hard as a rock!!! I'll have to find someone with pine trees! Thanks.
Organic matter, which is what pine needles are, is what will help any clay soil, or any sandy soil for that matter. Any organic matter, kitchen waste, compost, tree leaves including pine needles, straw, grass clippings, done in plants, almost all that stuff we tend to throw away that once lived can be used to improve any soil.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Are there trees nearby, by other people's houses? (or around the block) If you see the people (or even put a note in their mailbox) that you would greatly appreciate their leaves and ask if you could come and pick them up (or offer to help rake if you want to)
I have no trees (except a pine tree). I noticed a few yrs. ago, several bags of leaves on the corner of my block and started stealing them. (nice tree) I always examine the tree first to see if I even like the leaves and if they are 'healthy'. Between taking about 3-4 of their bags and other leaf bags from my neighbors, I do manage to get plenty of leaves. You can too!
Great idea I'll do that1! Thanks.
I don't want to be a kill-joy; it is your home after all.....but...why a raised bed for a flower garden.
Raised beds are great for avoiding many problems that non-raised beds might cause.....but
flower gardens; if you are building one as a an adjunct to your home will never satisfy you because unless the raised bed is of a size---which is cost prohibitive, it will never be large enough to please your wanting flowers to admire and enhance the property.
Grass, to be rid of, cannot be just tilled under....grass, like any other plant, has roots and unless you remove them, it will show up later on.
Grass, by the way, is one of the easiest plants to grow---and often, grow where you don't it.
Grass roots must be got rid of to get rid of the lawn.
The way to ensure that is to cut it...much like you would to plant it--cut and lift; then dispose of in the compost pile or retain for plugs to use where other parts of the lawn is needing repair.
One of the best tools for mapping out a flower bed is the garden hose. It can be put down as a means to show you size and shape of the bed you think you want.
And...if this flower garden is one that you wish to admire its contents, then think curved lines....stay away from straight lines.
Loonie, this addressed to you and to nobody else. You are so right when you say "it is your home after all..." Why a raised bed for a flower garden? well, the benefits are numerous. One, if you are older, like I am, you don't bend over so much and it is much easier on your back. I have THREE mainly because they aren't large enough to satisfy my insatiable 'want' for more flowers and they are easier on my back. I'm afraid that I don't understand about it being cost prohibitive, can you explain that to me. I can easily afford one level of ornamental bricks @$2 apiece. I'm on Social Security and I can afford this. I like the look of more than one layer and what is nice about a raised bed, is that you can always add BRICKS to it. My raised beds are a different color than my house and are not next to the house, but then the house is brick of a different kind. Whenever anyone sees my raised beds, they look at them and the front of my house, which is wood. I happen to like the LOOK of my raised beds and as for the grass, well, I put cardboard down on top of the grass before I added my top soil. It may not stop the grass from growing, but it definitely isn't going to show up in the next year. I have weeds from weed seeds, but I have yet to see any grass and it's been 3 years.
The pic attached is my newest raised bed and I am planning another. The one in the pic is not finished. It needs another level or two of more bricks. I, for one like my beds, they are easy on my back and easy to take care of.
So, I disagree with most of what you said.
This is with two levels of bricks and it's still not finished. I do like the look of it. TO ME, the lines are clean and neat and I just like the look of it.
COURSE, THAT'S JUST MY OPINION, BUT IT'S MY FLOWER BED.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
I hate to tell you this, but you will need to watch for the Bermuda coming through. It may not be a lot or you may get lucky & not have any come through, but it WILL come through cardboard...been there/done that.
I do spot kills with roundup or any grass killer, just be careful not to get it on any other plants. I usually hold a piece of cardboard or heavy paper between where I'm spraying and any good plants to prevent spray drift. I don't like to do that but sometimes we have to do what we have to do. And I have spent many hours trying to dig out Bermuda...if you leave even one tiny node in the ground it will come back!
Remember, it can creep underground as well as on top of the ground...so just keep a watch for it.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
I like your beds Barb. What are you planting in them?
Silly Bird, good luck with yours I've been working on one which is now ready for bulbs. The other one I'm still in the planning stages.
In the bed in the above picture are daylilies and irises. My main flower bed has coreopsis, green with envy coneflowers, bee balm, a caryoptersis, 'Snow Fairy', brazillian verbena and zinnias. I did not take pictures of it this year because of personal reasons here at home. I have another bed by the driveway that has persian shield, zinnias, beautiful white lilies, another caryoptersis, 'First Choice', two annuals that I can't recall the name of and one whirling butterflies. The beds are not as wonderful as the flowers of patty louise, but I do my best.
I LOVE your raised beds, Barb! (is your name Barbara?) Mine is just the standard raised bed square that I picked up in Lowe's. It was very reasonable. (is it cheaper to buy the wood at Lowe's and screw in the nails yourself?)
I love the brick so much! We were going to do brick, but since I never did it before and didn't want to invest too much time and $ the first time, we just bought the boxed raised bed. (I didn't even know they sold that, but when we saw it we had to have it!) I really love the brick and you have such a HUGE landscape, OMG, beautiful! Do you plant any veggies too or just flowers?
P.S. I didn't even know what Bermuda grass was!! But thanks to you guys I discovered the grass that I hate in my back yard and started pulling out with a vengence was "Bermuda Grass"! (It was so persistent I thought it might be a weed, wasn't exactly sure. It's back though, a week later.... I also have another type of grass, a much finer, thinner grass. I like that one much better, anyone know what it is called?
Yes, my first name is Barbara, but I prefer Barb.
I believe that you posted a pic of your raised bed. I wanted to try my hand at a wooden raised bed to start with, but DH told me that I would be better off going with the brick. That was a few years ago and the brick was cheaper and I hadn't seen the wooden raised beds.
My very first raised bed was 70' long[yes, 70 feet] and 4' wide. We had the space and I wanted a large bed. I had every plant that I could in that bed, but it was an experiment! My brother had horses, so I cleaned out his stables for the manure to put in my garden. Won't do that again, I had more white clover than I wanted, even though it was easy enough to pull out of the bed. I won't make a bed that long again, either. When I weeded that bed, it took the better part of a week and it was never finished.
About 9 years ago, we moved to our present house and even though I wanted to keep the bed in the field, DH wanted to rent out the other house. So, I moved the raised bed down here. It took awhile, but I finally got all of the bricks down here. It was well over 200 bricks.
Yes, I do plant veggies in my raised beds also. This year I planted canteloupes, watermelons, gourds, tomatoes, corn and peppers in a raised bed. Don't think it was the brick, I really think it was our lousy weather, but I never got the first ANYTHING out of the garden. We had more predators than normal and I would find ripe melons eaten and squashed. I had a major amount of tomato horn worms and just consider it bad luck!
You can grow just about anything in a raised bed.
Bermuda grass is HORRIBLE stuff! I have it, but try to keep it at bay. I dig this stuff out, but a week later, it's back. A neighbor sprays around his garden to get rid of it, but I don't want to spray anything that is a chemical. I think the grass you are talking about is Fescue. We don't have that one cause the Bermuda won't let it grow!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
Barb love your yard. That's what I have in mind too mine would be 2-3 bricks higher too. Raised beds as we get older will be a lot easier. I had 5 of them in Colo. and there is one in the front here.
Do you have a picture of your persian shield? I think my neighbor has one I think that's what it is and I'd love a start. Read you can have them for house plants? Do you know anything about them?
thanks for posting you beds they look great!! Want to come help me??
I can't find any pictures of my persian shield, but I love that plant. I've read that they are really nice house plants and that some of them even bloom. I've only seen a persian shield bloom once and I didn't think it was very pretty. The purple leaves is what I really like about it. The more sun it gets, the more purple the leaves get and some of the leaves will turn a metallic looking silver. You can propagate them by taking a cutting of it like a coleus and water rooting it. You may be able to get away with keeping it as a perennial, but I know here in Mississippi that it's an annual. I had it planted in front of my house at one point with mexican heather. I was hoping that it was in a protected spot and would come back. The mexican heather came back, but the persian shield didn't. Don't know if it was the frost or just the cold air that got it.
I would really love to come help, but I'm getting ready to make another raised bed, a dry creek bed and a retaining wall to keep my driveway from washing away. I just hope I can get it all done before it starts raining this winter.
took a pic of my persian shield.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
As GaK says you have to get ALL of the Bermuda or it will pop back up. The other end of yours is probably down here in my backyard
You're right Barb....raised beds look great...yours do.
But my point was, when one is planning a garden to enhance the property, one should think bedding plants and how best to use them.
Unless the raised bed is a rather large size for a particular type of plant, if its designed to let others see it, admire the color, and especially the size of perennial or annual flowers a garden bed is much preferred.
One usually cant envision beds that are restricted to one type of plant --as a raised bed is often used for.
Raised beds are used for a definite purpose.
Where there is a problem of drainage off the land, a raised bed can often be the solution.
If one isn't afraid of cultivating a section around foundation plants, or around a building...even a shed or garage, bedding plants used in a purposeful shape can make the homeowner feel something's been accomplished, it can often draw the homeowner to admire the plantings and want to expand the plot.
Perennial or annual flowers or non-flowering plants, have definite shape and sizes and unless they are planned ahead for their time of flowering, a small raised bed can often be wasted space. Large plants, if not put at the back of the border will smother--if not physically, then the look of smaller plants.
If you pay no attention to their time of flowering, then the smaller bed might go without color for long periods of time.
Perennial plants have their time--which is usually very limited---a couple weeks or so.
Then, because the bed is so small, what do you do with it when the perennials die-back.
In a larger bed, annuals can take up the slack while other perennials come along.
Myself, I consider raised beds for a vegetable garden where their drainage is so most important. A definite type of vegetable can then be brought to harvest better.
As far as killing grass by covering with newspaper/cardboard or what have you, it takes time and sun and when the grass and hopefully, the weeds are dead, all that has to be cleaned up, removed, before thinking to grow a garden; otherwise, the weeds and grass will just pop up and ruin a lot of hard work.
It can take some aches and pains, but lifting the sod is, in the long run, the better way.
First off, Loonie, I live in the middle of "nowhere". We are twenty miles from the nearest incorporated town. I did not make my beds to enhance my property. I DO NOT prefer a regular size flower bed. I have them, cause the person who lived here before us, liked them. My raised beds are not designed for others to admire or to see it, if my visitors like them, then that is gravy, but I did them BECAUSE I like them.
Who uses a raised bed for any one type of plant? Yes, raised beds are used for a definite purpose and from my point of view, a very useful one. The first time I ever saw a raised bed was at a nursing home. I had no idea what I was looking at and asked the grounds keeper what it was. He very proudly told me that there were 3 on the property and he had built all of them. There were "residents" who were confined to wheel chairs, but who loved to garden. He had built the raised beds for them. It was a wonderful, unselfish task that he did on his own time. I for one, applauded him for it. There were other "residents" who couldn't stand on their own, but could lean on a 'raised bed'. I did not make my raised beds because I have problems with drainage, yes a raised bed can often be a part of the solution. A raised bed can also be used to raise up a garden because a thoughtless neighbor is pouring diesel fuel on fire ant nests. I am not here to argue about the facts that will never change and people who won't either!
A raised bed, in my opinion, can be used for all sorts of reasons. MY REASON IS THAT I LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS! Of course I pay attention to a plants time of flowering, what gardener doesn't? None of my beds go without anything. They all receive the same amount of TLC, watering and fertilizing. There are plants that I am disappointed with their performance, but I think most gardeners can say that.
I have a raised bed for veggies, but it wasn't because of the drainage. What type of vegetable "SHOULD" be brought to harvest in a raised bed? I have the veggies in a raised bed, because I like the way it looks.
All of my raised beds were begun in the morning and were finished by that afternoon. I scalped the grass, put hardware cloth over the grass, cause I have a problem with voles. On top of the hardware cloth, I put my first layer of bricks, to hold down the hardware cloth. Then I cut CARDBOARD to fit the shape of the raised bed and I made sure to over lap it. I then put several bags of top soil in the bottom, then oraganic matter. I raked it up so as to mix it, then continued on with the same mix all the way to the top where I wanted it to stop. There is an inch from the top of the bricks that has no soil. I do have the occasional weed from weed seeds, but grass has not creeped in...YET. I have always thought that anything that grows needs sunlight, but Burmuda grass seems to be the exception, but I see no evidence of it in my raised beds...yet.
I don't know who considers lifting the sod the better way, but I don't...that's too much more work. I like being able to stand back and enjoy the look of my raised beds and know, that for now, at least, the weeds and grass ain't in my raised beds. It is back breaking work to make a raised bed! You are outta your mind if you think I'm gonna dig up sod!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
Barb, you and your raised flower beds rock! I think they are beautiful and more importantly so do you! Keep up the good work and keep sharing your pictures. Love them!
Barb thanks for posting that pic! It is the same plant my friend has. Funny her DH was out trimming up some plants and I went over to ask if I could have some of the trimmings. He had trimmed the purple Persian shield and put it in the trash before his DW got home so gave them to me too.
So now I'm going to try to root it!! Got some rooting hormone and dirt :-).
Also going to try to root a Rose of Sharon. Ever tried to do that?
muddy sent me some ROS seedlings. I have 3 seedlings left. she sent me twelve and I planted 5 and I gave away 4. Do you want the remaining 3 or would you rather ask muddy for some seeds or seedlings? She posted a pic of her rose of sharon trees and I asked her if I could have some seeds. She did me one better and sent me some seedlings. The only thing is we have no way of knowing what color they are. She has white, light pink and a dark pink. One of the pinks is a double, but they are all gorgeous. I can't wait for Sping!
muddy is a GREAT person and generous. I know she'd be happy to share with you.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Barb in Mississippi,
FFG rooted some in just a vase of water. She sent me 3 of her starts last year...I potted them and have planted them this year. They are all blooming right now...light pink, doubles.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Thanks Barb but my neighbor gave me the ones he was trimming off. I planted them in dirt this am as well as the persian shield. Can't wait to see if they grow this winter.
I purchased the Miracle-Gro garden soil for my raised planter bed.
Should I have something else instead of Garden Soil? What do others use? I have plenty of good farm dirt but then the idea to me of a raised planter bed is simply not to be adding something foreign that may be in the soil to my bed.
If I had plenty of 'good, rich farm dirt', I would have used that. The farm dirt along with compost and naturally occuring leaves, grass clippings, pine needles and kitchen compost would be Great. I use top soil cause I don't have that much soil. I use leaves, chicken manure, pine needles and naturally occurring stuff, but is does cost more. Also, the people who used to live here, used diesel fuel on fire ant nests. That was several years ago and the soil is still recovering.
OMGosh, if you have good rich farm dirt, girl, you are so lucky. Do as Barb said...add your other stuff, but by all means use it!
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