Friday, June 4, 2010

Makin’ a Bed

A flower bed that is!  I wanted to create a new flower bed in the backyard along the fence that lines the driveway.  I searched online for some natural ways to kill grass since I didn’t want to deal with cutting out the sod again – cutting out grass for the grill patio was enough- and I didn’t want to use chemicals that would leach into the soil.  A few different sources mentioned using newspaper to naturally and economically kill grass by smothering it.  Sold!  I bought a few Sunday papers and set to work.

You want to first mow the area so that the grass is short and level.  Next, lay your newspaper over the area you want to turn into a flowerbed.  Keep these two things in mind:

  • The newspaper layers should be thick – about 10 sheets
  • Overlap each 10-sheet stack of newspaper with adjacent stacks by a few inches (both the top and sides)
  • Spray the newspaper with water to help in the decomposition and to also aid the paper in staying in place

IMG_3431 Some articles mentioned lying down black weed blocker since it helps prevent sun from reaching the grass, thus aiding in smothering it.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt so I then laid down a layer of weed blocker.

IMG_3434 The final step was to cover the weed blocker and paper with 5-6” of mulch. A thick layer of mulch will press the newspapers tightly against the lawn.

IMG_3435You can spray the area down with water to further compact the paper and mulch but we had a storm a-brewin so I let Mother Nature do that for me. Now I just wait a few months for the layer of newspapers and mulch to kill the grass. The sod and newspapers will eventually break down, adding nutrients to the soil – an added bonus.

The second part of this project was to fill in the dirt patch next to my driveway. Once I moved the rocks from the driveway path to the new grill patio I was left with stepping stones and dirt. I continued the mulch in this area so that it blends with the new flowerbed above it.

IMG_3425 IMG_3445 Have any of you tried to kill grass using newspaper or another eco-friendly method?  How did it work?  I’m looking forward to buying plants on clearance in the Fall to plant in my new flowerbed!

1 comment:

  1. Try English Gardens in late July! They have great sales on their plants by then, usually half off.


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