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Old 01-09-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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What is the best way to clean up these flower beds for new mulch?


I am loving this site and would love some advice on my flower beds with the home we just bought a few weeks ago. It was a foreclosure so it has been vacant for about 2 years and has seen no love on the outside in quite sometime. I love using mulch in my flower beds, but can someone give me some advice on the best way to "clean up" these beds so that I can get all the grass and weeds out? Usually I would just dig up the top layer of grass and roots until I get back to the soil. Is that the way I need to go again or is there a less time consuming option for me? I have attached a pic of what the current condition of the beds are and the places in the photo where you see the variegated liriope is where the original owner carried out the bed and curved it along the sidewalk. She originally had borders stones dug into the ground and I plan on putting some back as well as digging up the liriope in the spring and transplanting them to another location in the yard.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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What is the best way to clean up these flower beds for new mulch?


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Usually I would just dig up the top layer of grass and roots until I get back to the soil.
Yup, this is the way that my wife usually approaches it, and it comes out fine; starts with a shovel, the blade as verical as possible or practical, to cut in an edge to follow, dons a pair of knee pads, sets the wheel barrow nearby, digs out the grass, weeds, etc. with a small flower shovel, evens it out a bit with a small flower rake, moves on, then, when she's gone a ways, goes back and spreads the mulch. We don't use plastic, screen, or anything like that, but she does sometimes spinkle on some Preen before the mulch, in areas where grass or weeds are most likely to find there way back in. With good mulch, stuff that hasn't set around too long and already started to go back to dirt, we'll typically just scruff it up with a rake in between times, and often get 3-4 years out of it, maybe just adding a bit in areas that have gotten matted down. You'll have to do some careful prodding first, to locate the low voltage wires for your lights.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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What is the best way to clean up these flower beds for new mulch?


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Yup, this is the way that my wife usually approaches it, and it comes out fine; starts with a shovel, the blade as verical as possible or practical, to cut in an edge to follow, dons a pair of knee pads, sets the wheel barrow nearby, digs out the grass, weeds, etc. with a small flower shovel, evens it out a bit with a small flower rake, moves on, then, when she's gone a ways, goes back and spreads the mulch. We don't use plastic, screen, or anything like that, but she does sometimes spinkle on some Preen before the mulch, in areas where grass or weeds are most likely to find there way back in. With good mulch, stuff that hasn't set around too long and already started to go back to dirt, we'll typically just scruff it up with a rake in between times, and often get 3-4 years out of it, maybe just adding a bit in areas that have gotten matted down. You'll have to do some careful prodding first, to locate the low voltage wires for your lights.

Thanks! Never thought about using Preen before. I have had pretty good luck with only a small amount of weeds coming back with the mulch that I use. Not sure about this soil since it seems to be hard to grow very much in it, but I think I will use it just to be sure. As for the lights.. they are mine and are solar so no wires to dig up, but thanks.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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What is the best way to clean up these flower beds for new mulch?


We broke down and bought one of these and just love it.
http://mantis.com/

Short of that one of these works fine for smaller areas.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...45F9F&first=72

We also only use cypruss of cedar mulch.
It repells insects, does not mold up or mat down and decompose like hardwood mulch does.

Last edited by joecaption; 01-09-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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