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View Full Version : Creating a mulch bed??


jeckel7234
05-15-2012, 05:49 PM
I have never created a new mulch bed and i have a customer who wants 3 mulch beds created a little over 1400 sqft in total area. The area is currently covered with grass and weeds. How do yall normally perform this. My plan as of now is to......
1. either take spray paint or rope and spikes to outline the project
2. then take my edgers and dig the initial trench.
3. Take shovels to dig the edge out to about 8in
4. Til the rest of the area and dig out the area near bushes and trees
5. Rake out the area or all the grass
6. Lay landscape fabric
7. lay mulch

Thanks for any advice

BitBurger
05-15-2012, 06:47 PM
I would rent a bed edger at the clients charge - this would save you the headache and look better in my opinion. You can also consider a pre-emergent to lay under the fabric for future weed control. Other than that you seem to have the right idea

snopro321321
05-15-2012, 10:50 PM
Mark your area then I use a sod cutter
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SDLandscapes VT
05-16-2012, 01:13 AM
if you are mulching with a wood mulch or compost I would not use weed fabric....sod cutter is the best start.

Mark out
Sod cut
Edge with bed edger
Final rake
Plant
Water
Rake out
mulch

Duekster
05-16-2012, 01:45 AM
Use a garden hose to outline and review with the home owner.
Here is where having a very good idea of your cost per year and coverage rates.

If you disturb soil, expect weeds. How are you going to deal with those?

jeckel7234
05-16-2012, 12:05 PM
would there be a big difference using a sod cutter over a tiller. I have a husqvarna rear tiller I think the spread is about 30''. To rent a sod cutter is $120 for the day
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macgyver_GA
05-16-2012, 12:26 PM
Mark area with spray paint, remove grass with a sod cutter, then create bed edges with bed edger or a shovel, Plant your plants appropriately, then spread your mulch.

I wouldn't bother with weed fabric. A thick enough layer of mulch will block out weeds just fine.

jeckel7234
05-16-2012, 02:47 PM
can a tiller still get the job done with not much more work than a sod cutter or is it worth renting a sod cutter. The dimensions are

45x10 bed that already has 3 small trees in it
60x3 bed with 9 small bushes in it
80x10 curved section along a side walk with 6 larger bushes in it.

macgyver_GA
05-16-2012, 03:35 PM
The problem with the tiller is you'll just till the stuff back into the soil and risk some of the grass and weeds re-germinating.

Just bill the customer the rental fee for the machine. Around here it's about $70 for 4 hours rental on a sod cutter. Those are some pretty big beds though...that's gonna be a lot of labor to remove all that material by hand. You may wanna look into renting a stand on skid steer machine (I.e. Toro Dingo)You may wanna just kill it all off with Roundup or something similar and then cut the bed edges, then fill with mulch.

Moose's Mowing
05-16-2012, 03:39 PM
I've used a sod cutter and have also sprayed with roundup nice and heavy. Both methods worked fine but the sod cutter worked the best. It also leaves a nice crisp edge. I'd recommend the sod cutter. it's a lot of work to roll up the sod and remove it tho. if you have pallets and a mini skid, it'd def help.

jeckel7234
05-16-2012, 05:21 PM
would cutting the grass as low as possible with mower and trimmer, then lay down preen and roundup, then steaking in black plastic over the area be a good idea. I would probably dig up around the plants and poke hole in the plastic around them for water penetration. then covering the area with 3in of mulch

Darryl G
05-16-2012, 08:15 PM
I agree on the sod cutter. I use a sod cutter and then till. Between creating the edge and the soil getting "fluffed" with the tiller it ends up being slightly mounded. To create the shape of the beds I lay out an old garden hose and then use white upside-down marking paint. That way the area is marked out for Dig-Safe/Call Before you Dig when I call it in for utility mark-out too. I never install fabric unless it's under stone...I hate the stuff, but I hate black plastic even more, lol.

cgaengineer
05-16-2012, 08:28 PM
Mark the area, cut with bed edger and spray with roundup and cover with mulch.
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Duekster
05-17-2012, 12:45 AM
I agree on the sod cutter. I use a sod cutter and then till. Between creating the edge and the soil getting "fluffed" with the tiller it ends up being slightly mounded. To create the shape of the beds I lay out an old garden hose and then use white upside-down marking paint. That way the area is marked out for Dig-Safe/Call Before you Dig when I call it in for utility mark-out too. I never install fabric unless it's under stone...I hate the stuff, but I hate black plastic even more, lol.

Agree plastic is bad, Fabric better but even then it depends. :)

jeckel7234
05-17-2012, 10:46 AM
Why is the plastic bad, just a pita to deal with?
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macgyver_GA
05-17-2012, 10:55 AM
Why is the plastic bad, just a pita to deal with?
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It's a PITA to deal with. It cracks, the color fades, it comes up out of the ground.

Landscape edging in general is a PITA. Cutting a "trenched" edge looks much cleaner, natural, and more professional anyways.

I have a small amount of landscape edging in my personal yard but its only to contain some river stone/pebbles I have by my gate of my fence in the backyard.

Darryl G
05-17-2012, 11:08 AM
The plastic breaks down and makes a mess, rakes get caught in it and it's always showing it's ugly head no matter how hard you try to keep it covered.

Duekster
05-17-2012, 05:14 PM
Plastic and fabric are barriers. While they help keep weeds down they also keep the mulch from composting and enriching the soil.

Better to use 3 to 4 inches of mulch to keep weeds down.

jeckel7234
05-17-2012, 07:46 PM
the lady doesnt want any type of barrier, her whole goal is to eliminate as much trimming as possible. so ill just stick with loading it up with a little more than 3 inches. And im renting a bed edger which ive never used but assuming it will give me a few inchs of dirt before the mulch

Duekster
05-17-2012, 07:48 PM
the lady doesnt want any type of barrier, her whole goal is to eliminate as much trimming as possible. so ill just stick with loading it up with a little more than 3 inches. And im renting a bed edger which ive never used but assuming it will give me a few inchs of dirt before the mulch

Closer to 4 the better for weed control.

jeckel7234
05-17-2012, 09:52 PM
Closer to 4 the better for weed control.

so am i correct in assuming thats what a bed edger does digs about a 4in wide track, or is it just a larger blade about the width of an edging blade that straitens out existing beds

Darryl G
05-17-2012, 10:07 PM
The edger is like a mini roto tiller but it throws the soil to one side. This is the kind I've used before. They don't much like big rocks but roots are no problem.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=brown+bed+edger+video&mid=EECA9C00DC5F17A0E523EECA9C00DC5F17A0E523&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

jeckel7234
05-17-2012, 10:17 PM
The edger is like a mini roto tiller but it throws the soil to one side. This is the kind I've used before. They don't much like big rocks but roots are no problem.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=brown+bed+edger+video&mid=EECA9C00DC5F17A0E523EECA9C00DC5F17A0E523&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

good enough man thanks alot that showed how it works very well