Guide to Creating a New Garden

Creating a new garden bed is an exciting, creative endeavor, the first concrete step towards creating the garden of your dreams! In this video, our gardening expert offers valuable insights into every aspect of creating a garden bed - from picking the location to all the activities involved in the process. You'll discover useful new information about marking, digging and finally preparing the bed for your favorite plants.


Hi, I'm Debbie from Spring Hill Nursery and today, on step-by-step gardening, we're going to be creating a new garden bed. Now this is one of my favorite parts of gardening because you can just let your imagination run wild. It's like starting with a blank slate. Unlike planting in an existing bed, we have to take into consideration all of the limitations of the location, maybe the light requirements or the soil. When you create a new bed, you can start with what you want. Figure out what kind of plants you want and then you can select a location. Now as you can see behind me, I've decided that I want to plant a woodland bed today. So, I've selected a location that has several trees in it. So, with any new garden bed, there are five simple steps from taking your area from blah to beautiful and we'll walk through this together. The first step is to use a hose to actually draw out the general shape of your bed. The hose is an excellent tool to use because it can give you those nice curves that you need and it's very pliable and easy to move. And of course, as I've done, it's always great to have a second pair of eyes that could help you check your angles. So, this is the most important angle. You see, here we're standing on our deck, so this is where we're going to be looking at it the most. So, I'm looking at it from the deck and it looks pretty good. I like the curve, I like the interest and I think we're going to be able to put some really interesting plants in the middle there. Okay, so as if this weren't as much fun already, now it's time to graffiti the grass. Oh yes, that's right, we're going to follow this line that we've created with our hose and use some marking paint, the same paint that they would use on any kind of ball field, so you know it's going to be safe for your grass. Here, you see, I've chosen white and all you're going to do is just follow the line of your hose all the way around. Well, now that we've drawn out the line of our bed and we've taken the hose away, it's now time for step three, which is to get rid of that sod. Now you see I'm using a square tip shovel and this will be very helpful as we remove the sod because it'll help us to follow the line of the curve, but it'll also help as we're pulling the sod up, it'll retain the roots in case we want to use it elsewhere in the lawn. So, let's use the shovel and follow the line that we've created with our marking paint. Then what you're going to do is just cut little squares to make this manageable. Then what you're going to do is take your shovel underneath, and just lift it right up. Now this is hard work, and a great cardio workout by the way, so don't be afraid to grunt a little bit. So, we're just going to continue this line that we've drawn and keep cutting out the turf little by little. Now once we've gotten all of this turf removed, the next step we're going to do is add our top soil. Now you see behind me, I have about eight cubic yards of top soil, so we're going to bring that in, and then what we're going to do is amend it with some type of organic matter, like compost, peat moss or even pine bark. Then you're going to shape this bed, give it some topographical interest, maybe add some stones and some different layers and levels. Then, what I like to do is add my mulch, before I plant because what that'll do is it'll ensure a nice, even layer of mulch and then it'll be very simple to plant - you just pull the mulch out of the way, plant, and bring it right back in. So, as you can see, I have a little bit of work to do here, so, I think I'm going to get started right away. So, four hours later, our bed is done. You'll notice that we've put the soil down, we mixed in our compost, we added mulch and you'll also notice that we put in some rocks. Now rocks have a few different benefits. First, they add some decorative appeal, and they make your bed look a little bit more natural. But also, if you place them strategically, you'll find they become great stepping stones. Oh, and by the way, those four hours that we spend doing this, my trusty heart monitor says over 2000 calories burned, so gardening is good for you. Now, let's get to planting.