While the cooler temperatures of fall may not inspire you to be gardening and planting, this is definitely the best time to create a new garden bed. Spring is such a busy time in the garden, so by taking time now you can get a jump start on the next growing season. Here's a step by step plan for you to take to create a new bed that will require minimal work in the spring to prepare for planting.
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 you 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 there will be more to do on this bed ( and we will show you that in a future article) but for now enjoy the fall knowing that you got a major jump on your spring gardening chores!