Susan HarrisMaster Gardener Susan Harris is a gardening coach and writer. Visit her website for plant recommendations, guides to composting and mulching, Tips with Teeth, embellishments on her Monkey See videos, and much more. Susan writes the award-winning team blog GardenRant.com with her three partners, her own blog, Takoma Gardener, and a gardening column in two Maryland newspapers. In her spare time she's an activist for urban and suburban greening in the Washington, D.C. area.
Hi! I am Susan Harris and I am talking about sustainable gardening. In this clip, I am going to cover how to prepare your borders for planting. The first job to do is after you've marked the edge of your border is to cut along that painted lines. So, for that I use this flat edged tool. I put it right where the paint is and just cut along there. I just keep cutting where the paint is. Now, the biggest part of the job is to then remove all of the sod or grass and all of the weeds. The slow and easy way to do that is to take a newspaper at least six inch, six different sheets of newspaper or even cardboard. Cover it with mulch and water it in and then just wait about four or five months and it will become decomposed and it will have actually improved your soil. So, here is how it works, this is six layers of newspaper, cover it up, weight down, put little weights or rocks around the edges so that they will just stay down. Water it and in five months, all of that will have decomposed and you will have actually improved your soil quite a bit and if you would like to get started planting say your biggest items, you could even cut a hole in the newspaper and plant a few of your big items. The other way to remove all of this is of course by hand. So, you could actually use a shovel or if there are a lot of them and it's a small area you might use a hand tool like this and just take out each weed, individually. So, in the next clip, I am going to cover the major group of plants, shrubs and small trees for your sustainable garden.