Building the perfect bed

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Craig Turf Management, Jul 7, 2001.

  1. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    I want advice from some of you landscape pros on how to build a planting bed. I'm trying to build systems to make the process more efficient by using the same steps each time.

    Lets assume that the area is 10x25 in turf.
    I usually mark the area with spray paint before I begin.
    Do you remove the sod, or till it under after spraying with round-up?
    I like to use the bededger to shape the bed.
    Should I shape the bed, and then till in the ammendments, or till in the general area and then define it?

    Will you folks please help me with this one? I appreciate it.

    Thanks, Bill Craig
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,578

    We would mark the bed ...dig it out by machine and add new soil...If I didn't have a choice I would strip the sod and then till... we have heavy clay here plus if it is a foundation planting there is always crap the builders have burried.
  3. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    Thanks Kris,
    I appreciate the reply. Hoping to get more responses by now though.
    Thanks Bill Craig:blob3:
  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    It's hard to tell you what the perfect bed is, The ground under the topsoil? how deep, what type, shade, plant material used, drainage, water requirements, these are all factors in building the perfect bed.
  5. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    What I'm asking is when you have a piece of turf that you want to replace with a planting bed how would you approach it? The soil here is junk. I would have to amend it. Should I dig out the clay, or till in the amendments? I generally like to mound the bed a bit as well. Would you strip the sod? I don't have a sod cutter, and would consider buying one if the workload warrants it.
    Or should I just spray out the grass with round-up and till it under.
    Do you edge the bed before you till it, or would you till then edge.
    Seems that if I edge first, I would ruin the edge by tilling.

    What I'm trying to do is develop a plan for building beds that I can write up and keep in a book for my guys to follow. I'm planning to prepare a procedures manual, and this is where I'm starting.

    I appreciate your response. Take care, Bill Craig
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    what we do is cut out the desired shape, romove the turf, dispose of it, bring in topsoil to create desired height of bed(remeber though, your final topdressing, stone/mulch, will raise the height even more, so use topsoil accordingly). if the exsisting soil is not good for planting, we plant new shrubs with fresh topsoil/peat. hope this helps. alot of guys though will just cut out the exsisting turf and turn it green side down, we dont like to do it that way
  7. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354


    Thanks for your help. I've been spraying the bed with R-UP, insteade of removing the turf. I think I'll rent a sodcutter on the larger beds though. Do you usually have to re-edge the beds after you ammend them?
    Preciate it, Bill Craig

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