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Video:How to Prepare a Flower Bed

with Amanda Switzer

Spruce up a tired patch of your lawn with a colorful flower bed. Learn how to choose the location and shape of the flower bed and how to prepare the soil.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Prepare a Flower Bed

Hi, I'm Amanda Switzer for About.com Home. Preparing ground for a garden bed entails some hard labor, but it truly is a labor of love.

Today we're going to take a piece of lawn and convert it into a garden bed. But before we do that, we have to decide on a location.

Select the Flower Bed's Location

If the area receives more than six hours of sunlight a day, it's going to be a sun-loving garden. If the area receives less than six hours of sunlight a day, it's a shade garden. In our case, we're going to be building a shade garden.

Supplies to Prepare a Flower Bed

The tools we are going to use are:
  • a hose (to edge out the line of the garden)
  • an iron rake (to pull up the grass)
  • edgers (to make the edge of the garden)
  • a shovel (to turn over the soil)
We will also add soil amendments like:
  • Plant-tone
  • lime
  • manure
To take away the debris, we use either a bucket or a wheelbarrow, if we have lots of stuff to take away.

Create the Garden Edge

With our spade, we're going to create the garden edge. We're going to put the hose in the shape that we want the garden, and start edging out along the hose.

Kick really deep--you want to penetrate through the roots. Kick up and push it back if you can. You do this repeatedly down the edge of the hose.

Remove Grass From the Flower Bed

Using your iron rake, you don't want to take too much soil. You want to be careful to just get the top layer of grass off and shake off the excess soil so you have plenty left for your garden.

When removing the grass from your garden bed, you should try to make a compost pile. This is a great source of energy for your garden for the future.

Prepare the Soil for the Flower Bed

Now it's time to get the shovel and turn the soil over. But before we do that, we want to add our soil amendments.

Now that we have our soil amendments on the soil, we can turn it over to about two feet deep. This way, the roots will have plenty of area to grow in, and there won't be a concrete layer underneath. This is when the work gets tough.

So now that we've mixed our soil pretty well with the soil amendments, I will get the rake and smooth out the soil.

Add Flowers to the Flower Bed

Now that our garden has been edged out, added with soil amendments, and turned over, it's time to create our woodland garden by adding plants.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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