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Creating A Vegetable Bed

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Creating a bed for a vegetable garden is back-breaking work, especially if turning over a large patch of grass is necessary. But there's an easier way to create a bed for vegetables that requires time and planning, but very little labor. 

Choose a Location

A season spent watching the yard is a good investment. Knowing where the sun shines during the spring and summer will help in garden placement planning. Watching the sun in the winter months can be misleading. Bare winter trees let sunlight through, but when those trees leaf out in the summer they create shade, which is no good for vegetables. Once the perfect sunny spot has been chosen, mark it off with string or spray-on chalk and get to work.

Getting Rid of the Grass

Lawn mowers take center stage in this next step. When fall arrives, the grass in the planned vegetable bed should be mowed with the lawn mower blade set to its lowest setting. The remaining grass should be covered with sheets of newspaper or a layer of cardboard. Ideally, the sheets of newspaper or cardboard should overlap slightly, because grass will sprout up between any cracks in this layer. If the newspaper or cardboard wants to fly away in the wind, rocks will hold it down temporarily. This layer should then be dampened with a hose both to keep it in place and to hasten its ability to break down and allow water to reach the soil beneath. The wet cardboard or newspaper will prevent air and light from reaching the grass beneath and will kill that section of lawn. The dead grass and roots will break down, turning into food for future seedlings.  

Create Rich Soil

The cardboard and newspaper should be covered by compost, which will break down over the winter months and leave behind a lovely, rich soil for spring planting. Fall leaves are a perfect first layer. Mulch and straw are other good choices. Over the leaves, mulch or straw should be layered some grass clippings. On top of that should be vegetable and fruit trimmings from the kitchen, coffee grounds, egg shells and tea bags. Over the winter, these materials will break down to create a nutrient-rich soil in which spring plants will flourish.

Spring Planting

When it's time to plant in the spring, there will be a rich layer of finished compost in the new vegetable bed and the grass will be gone. Gardeners who used newspaper to smother the grass can simply dig holes for their seedlings. Gardeners who used cardboard might have to cut holes in the cardboard if it hasn't broken down completely, but the cardboard will be soft, making the task simple. 

For more help, contact a company like Snappy's Outdoor Equipment Sales & Service LLC.