Creating New Beds Without Removing Sod - Knowledgebase Question

Name: lillian marshall
Memphis, TN
Question by lml6
March 28, 1998
I made a new raised bed for annuals last year without removing the grass by using newspaper on the bottom and adding soil. Can I use this procedure with bulbs and perennial plants?


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Answer from NGA
March 28, 1998

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Yes, I've used the newspaper method for perennials, and I don't see why it wouldn't work for bulbs. I recommend spreading some granular nitrogen fertilizer on top of the grass before laying down newspapers to help break down the sod and papers without robbing nitrogen from the soil. The grass provides some nitrogen but a little more helps.

You can also spread newspapers in a future garden area in the fall and cover them with manure. In the spring, the sod is decomposed enough that you can till the whole area. I'm in favor of anything that eliminates digging up sod and removing all that topsoil. It's very satisfying!

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