Sunday, May 7

The Lazy Way to Make a Garden Bed-Portland, OR

Pretty purple petunias

I made a new flower bed a few weeks ago, and started planting it with annuals today. I wish I was one of those gardeners that are in to doing things the correct and right way all the time. But frankly, I no longer have the energy, or time to always do things the right way. More times than I care to admit, I like to take the easy way to complete many routine gardening projects. Making new gardening beds is one of these projects that I try to do the "easy" way.

Snapdragons. I noticed that the ones I planted last year, grew back this year

My new bed is a 9ft by 4ft bed that I made over grass. My lazy bed technique included covering the grass with two layers of black weed blocking fabric, followed by dumping several inches of mulch over the top. By next summer the grass should be dead underneath leaving a nice layer of soil. If you can, it is best to mow the grass and remove any weeds that you can.

These annuals should fill in as soon as the weather is warm everyday

Today I was able to plant some annuals in the bed. I also transplanted many annuals such as Cosmos and Zinnias that were seed starts. Planting is fairly easy. You just temporary remove the mulch where you want to plant. Then cut a slit in the fabric with a knife and tuck the plant into the slit. You may have to dig a hole if the plant won't fit. After placing the plant, I just pushed the mulch back around the plant.

 I selected this method to make the bed because it is still cool and wet here in Oregon. If it was the middle of summer I could have just covered the spot in black plastic or weed blocker fabric.  The heat from the sun, and lack of light would then  kill the grass underneath in a week or so. In fall I like to cover areas with cardboard then add soil and compost on top. The cardboard method is my favorite way to make a bed because the cardboard breaks down quickly, leaving a rich soil underneath by next planting season. It also attracts a lot of worms. Here is a video that shows you how to do it in a raised bed.

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