The Easy Way to Create a New Garden Bed

Knowing that Labor Day is just around the corner usually makes me sad. But this year I am really looking forward to cooler temperatures and planning ahead for the spring.

While most of us think of spring as the time to plant, fall is an even better time to plan out garden beds and plant shrubs and perennials. Spring is a time when plants put all of their energy into growing foliage and the flowers and seeds necessary to reproduce. Fall is a time when plants put their energy into their roots and getting ready for winter survival. So planting in the fall allows plants to establish their roots and be ready for spring.

The fall is also a great time to create a new garden bed. My method uses some very simple steps and time to create a bed that is ready for spring planting. Read on to find out how to create a new garden bed The Easy Way!

Step 1 Lay Out the Design

Use a length of hose to outline your new planting area, especially if you are going to use curved lines. Using the hose allows you to play with your design until you have it just right.  (Remember, when creating curves be sure to consider that you will need to mow around them. Tight curves can be difficult and time-consuming to mow so make sure that your design allows for easy mowing.)

Step 2 Mark the Edge of Your New Bed

When you are happy with your design, mark the edge with sand or flour and then remove the hose. Edge the area with a spade or shovel You can simply do a quick outline or you can completely dig the edge. To prevent grass from growing back into the bed, the edge should be about 8" deep and several inches wide.

Step 3 Cover and Amend  

If your new bed is currently covered in grass, simply mow the grassy area and cover it with cardboard. Next add soil, compost and other organic material like grass clippings, leaf mulch, etc. on top of the cardboard.

Step 4 Relax and Wait!

Allow the new bed to sit until spring and let nature do your work for you. The grass underneath the cardboard will die and the organic material you have added will have a chance to compost over the winter.

That's it! When spring arrives you can till the bed and compost to get the bed ready for planting. But for now, enjoy the fall knowing that you got a major jump on your spring gardening chores!


  • Hi Terre:

    I would wait until the soil is properly prepared before planting bulbs.

    Good luck with your new bed!

  • When to plant new bulbs if ground not prepared … thru the cardboard? I havwme cardboard already down to kill grasses but it’s not ready for bulbs.


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