Other years I have put down newspapers and chopped leaves in the fall to make
my beds larger the next year. (My aim is more room for flowers and less grass
to mow.) Now I would like to do it earlier. Can I put down layers of
newspapers and top with a thin layer of topsoil now? Then I'd like to plant
Marilyn in Ohio
You can do it that way, although if you don't wait until the grass is
absolutely dead before you plant through it, you'll get annoying sprouts
pushing up right near where you've planted.
I recently expanded one border in my back yard by about 50%; I marked the
new edge and used a sod cutter. I then flipped the grass over in place and
layed about 4 inches of purchased compost. That's how it is now, and when
I'm done planting in I'll lay thick newspaper and a thin layer of shredded
hardwood mulch on top.
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