Best Way to Open a Bed 1’ out From the House??

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by CompletePropertyCare, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. CompletePropertyCare

    CompletePropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I have a customer that had their sod planted right up to there home the whole way around. She now wants be get rid of the sod and create a bed to plant flowers, lay mulch etc. I was thinking about just getting out the shovel, cutting the line and then digging out the sod with the shovel. What are your thoughts? Maybe rent a bed edger to create a clean line??
  2. RLSLandscaping

    RLSLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I bet you can rip it right up..I use an old fashioned spade when making bed edges (knew or beginning of season) I maintain with stihl power edger..I just made a bed 2 days sod just grass my guy used the flat end of an extra large pick ax to skim the grass/roots out..held at the right angle it is super easy then we til the soil/loam, plant, mulch..
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Open the bed much further from the house to start. 1' will look silly. You can use a sod cutter and remove as mush as you like, quickly and cleanly, then with a spade create a nice clean edge. If it is small, a manual sod lifter or the spade can remove the sod and then cut a clean edge. If they want just flowers, 3' will be better and more able to have flowers with multiple interest. More plants, longer bloom season. If you wish to just add annuals, think of what it will look like when they are not blooming. Better yet, go 5' for some shrubs, evergreen and deciduous as a background for the flowers. When you plant the flowers, use annuals and perennials for more interest and longer season of blooms.

  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Our industry is so full of equipment that no one knows how to do the simple things anymore. When the times come when hand tools make sense, no one has the skills and techniques to use them. The old fashioned spade that RLS mentions will eat that job up in minutes, if it is in the right hands.

    A sod cutter is not going to get that close to a house, but I suppose you can finish it off with a mini excavator.

    Another handy tool for this is a 9" wide grub hoe, but you can't find them anymore because they don't have a pull cord.

    I certainly don't advocate working like a dog with hand tools, but knowing how to use them allows you to know when to use them. A 12" strip out of grass along a building by hand is very fast and easy, but not if you have no skills.
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Try a sod cutter it just takes a few minutes and does a professional straight job. Use a straight line if you want straight edges.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Its not stated how long the sods been down.
    1 yr bed edger and spade to lift it, anymore and a sod cutter to cut the sod lose so it can be rolled up and removed and a bed edger to define the edges.
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I have not handled a sod cutter in the last few years, but I have not noticed a change in design. Cutting a 12" bed against a foundation with a sod cutter? I don't think so.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I agree with AGLA about the simple basics of useing hand tools..sometimes people in this biz end up doing more work by useing power tools than if they just took a sharp shovel in hand and did it while they were thinking of how to do it easier some other way.I also agree with Dreams that 1' is just not enough flowerbed space at all.I do not recommend turning the sod over into the soil ...remove it and then add what ever you need to raise the bed to grade the soil away from the home for proper drainage.Topsoil/compost mix and dig it in well with the existing soil underneath.

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