Friday, November 13, 2009

How can I clear a flower bed?

For the first time, I own a garden!! So Im pretty much a novice. I have a flower bed, full of shrubs and weeds that needs to be emptied so i can lay a path and more grass. The earth is really, really stoney. Id prefer to do it myself, rather than get a professional in - partly because of cost but also because id rather do it myself if possible. Please can someone tell me the easiest way to clear out the flower bed, or is it a case of hard labour digging it all up? Also, when it is finally clear, can i just lay the paving slabs onto the earth, or do i need to put something down first? Any help and advice appreciated, thank you.

How can I clear a flower bed?
Go to your local library and get a few gardening books. Identify the plants already there (some of the "weeds" may be perennials). Next measure your yard and flower bed, draw a scale model on graph paper and locate all the existing shrubs and flowers on the paper.

Now decide which plants you want to keep or move, which to give away and where you will place the path and plant the new grass. Remember that grass needs full sun, the previous owners may have located the flower bed where it is because of shade from trees that made grass hard to grow.

If you want to give away or relocate any plants, you should dig them in the early fall, not now. If you are going to kill the plants you can do so now. Cut down the shrubs and paint the cut wood with Round-up, if you simply dig them and leave any roots behind they will resprout. Also kill the weeds with Round -Up, same reason.

You likely will need to add topsoil if you want to grow grass. Get a truckload delivered and spread it over the bed once the weeds and shrubs are dead and you have removed the dead shrub stumps (can do that about 2-3 weeks after applying Round Up). You can seed grass or lay sod.

Give some carefull thought to your path. Pavers in grass are difficult to mow around, it will be better to create a stone/gravel pathway with pavers laid in it or a brick path wih edging. Either way you will need to dig a 6" trench for the path, line with landscape fabric, and fill with compacted stone dust. Then place pavers or bricks and fill in the gaps with sand or pea gravel.
Reply:saving the plants for you friends is a good idea or advertise them on freecycle website - then lay some sand and plonk your slabs down - i am having to doing something similar for putting my shed on. hope it all goes well :0)
Reply:Make an anonymous phone call to the police saying you think you saw someone burying a body and they'll come around and dig it over for you!
Reply:try to dig as many as plants shrubs up as you can ... dont kill plants give then to friends or put out side for people to take then. get all the weeds up . then lay black liner .then sand slabs ... have fun
Reply:if the earth is stony you would be best off using a pickax, or mattock, to break it up before you pull out the weeds and amend the soil (you'll want to make the soil more habitable for your future plants, no?). shoveling anything that isn't already at least partially soft will damn near cripple you. the paving stones can go on a mixture of 2/3 decomposed granite mixed with 1/3 mortar, then fill in between with more of same, spray the stones clean, and you have a paved path/patio.
Reply:This is a job of good old fashioned digging and pulling. Get a good shovel and some garden gloves with a rubber coating on the front. I also like using vinyl exercize mat to sit on while I weed.
Reply:i would lay plastic down before i lay the paving slabs down to kill all of the weeds that might be lift
Reply:Hire a garden blow torch for the day, I've seen these used on gardening programmes and as your earth is stoney, it will be less back breaking. Before laying slabs put down a sheet of weed inhibitor, or thick black bin liners will do, put down a 1" layer of sharp sand, put your slabs on top.
Reply:rake and shovel it out. you can put sand down first,but don't have to. you might want to leave some shrubs. there will be less weeds then
Reply:I'd say the same as Sparky, but Pinhead had me rolling about laughing.:o)

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