Preparing the Bed

 
 
Good soil preparation is the basis for any great garden. Take the time to do it right and you'll save time – and money – in the long run as your plants thrive and garden maintenance is minimal.
 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:

 


 

Step 1

 Step 1: Cut sod in to strips Cut sod into strips 12 to 18 inches wide. Cut the strips by digging into the ground with a spade or edger, pushing the blade just below the roots -- a depth of about 2 or 3 inches.
  

Step 2

 Step 2: Use a spade to dislodge sod Professionals remove sod with a sod lifter -- a tool designed specifically for the job. You can buy or rent a sod lifter. Or, put the handle of a spade close to the ground and kick the blade sharply to dislodge sod.
  

Step 3

Step 3: Roll up the strips and remove them from the garden bed You can reuse sod. Trim it into lengths of 2 to 4 feet. Roll up the strips and remove them from the bed. If you're going to replant the sod, do so as soon as possible.
  

Step 4

Step 4: Lay down landscape fabric to discourage growth of weeds Work amendments, such as peat moss, manure, or fertilizer, into the soil. Pre-mixed premium composted garden soils can also be used which contain soil, composted organic material and fertilizers. Dig to a depth of at least 1 foot, then rake the bed smooth. To discourage growth of weeds, lay down landscape fabric. Cut Xs in the fabric and root plants in the soil below. Cover the fabric with 2 to 3 inches of soil or mulch.