- Mar 29, 2012
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Just wanting to know the best way to build a flower bed from scratch, with mulch on top. My top soil isn't the best. And, after about 2 shovel fulls of dirt, I'm already hitting red clay. Thanks.
Clay in and of itself isn't necessarily bad. Most clay type soils have a lot of needed minerals in them. What they don't have is a lot of organic material and you will need quite a bit to have a good garden. You said two shovels of dirt until you hit the clay. To me that means over a foot of topsoil and many of us don't even have that. A flower garden will grow very well in that much soil but to make it really good all you have to do is to incorporate a good compost into the soil. Dig as deep as you can, even into the clay and with your shovel turn the soil over and mix a LOT of compost into it. At this time also incorporate a good organic fertilizer and water the bed thoroughly. Next, after it has somewhat dried out on top break up any large clods and rake it smooth. Next, plant your seeds or transplants. When large enough place the mulch around the plantsJust wanting to know the best way to build a flower bed from scratch, with mulch on top. My top soil isn't the best. And, after about 2 shovel fulls of dirt, I'm already hitting red clay. Thanks.
Didn't know about the grass so that makes a big difference. You will have to get rid of the grass and there are two ways to do it. One, using chemicals and two, solarizing. Some folks will dig up the area, smooth it out and put weed cloth on top of the ground and then cut slits in the cloth and plant their plants and put mulch all over the cloth. If you do it that way I will guarantee you will be working your tail off in 2 or 3 years trying to remove the cloth along with all the weeds of whose seeds have blown in and sprouted. There is no such thing as weed free except concrete and even that is not 100%. Depending on the type of grass you have will depend on how much work is involved in removing it if you do it manually. I have never seen the removal of lawn grass manually to be successful. There will always be runners and little pieces that will resprout. I hate to admit it but using chemicals like Grass B Gone is the easiest and quickest. If you solarize it will take probably 3 months depending where you live. As for digging up the soil and putting weed cloth down, save your money as you will have weeds no matter what. The secret to maintaining a weed free garden is to not let any weeds grow. Heavy mulch will help but is not a cure. As for as the compost goes it is all great unless it is full of chemicals like the Scotts and Miracal Grow types. If you use organic products from the start, in the long run it will be a healthier garden. Less diseases and insects to put up with plus safer for your family and pets.I thought it was much more difficult than that. I thought I had to remove the grass first. Then dig so deep and lay down fabric for the weeds. Then get me some good soil and then lay edging for the mulch. What type of compost are you referring ? Thanks.
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