If you’re wondering how to make a flower bed over grass without digging, this is the guide for you! Create a beautiful, inexpensive flower bed in just a day!
How many of you have had that last-minute inspiration and decided that you were going to build a flower bed today? Maybe you’ve got a less-than-pretty spot in your yard that you’d like to cover up, or maybe you’re looking to add some pollinators to your area.
No matter your reason, this guide will help you quickly create a beautiful no-dig flower bed!
Today, we will create a flower bed for our Dahlia’s, Jazzy mix zinnias, Terracotta & Pampas Plume Celosia all grown from seeds. If you’re looking for help starting from seeds, here’s a great post for that!
What do I need to prepare a flower bed without digging?
To avoid digging, we do need to use a few different materials and tools. First, you’ll want to purchase a weed barrier–We’ll secure that over the garden bed area with landscaping staples to kill the grass and prevent weeds from making a home near your flowers.
You’ll also want to purchase a time-release fertilizer. This helps keep nutrients in your soil longer and prevents fertilizer burn from harming your new transplants. Additionally, you’ll need a high-quality compost (feel free to make or buy this) and mulch.
I measured out the holes for my plants using a ruler and string, then I burned holes into the barrier. If you have a branding iron, feel free to use that! I didn’t, so I created one by screwing a cat food can onto a stick–Not fancy, but it got the job done!
How to make a flower bed over grass:
Here’s a quick overview with pictures. For complete, detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom for the printable “How-To” guide.
Step 1: Spread your fertilizer on the area, then smother the grass using a weed barrier & landscape staples.
Step 2: Prepare your branding iron to create holes for your plants.
Step 3: Measure out distance appropriate for your flowers and burn holes with the branding iron.
Step 4: Create holes in the ground for your plants using a drill and auger bit.
Step 5: Place plants in holes, adding compost around each plant.
Step 6: Add mulch to entire bed.
Tips for Making a No Dig Flower Bed:
- Make sure the area you choose allows the plants to receive the correct amount of sunlight.
- Make sure you are planting flowers that will work with your climate zone at the appropriate time. We are planting zone 7; the bed was created April 26 and mulched on June 4. Next time I’ll mulch earlier to save myself some watering time.
- Watch the plants closely for any signs of stress. If possible, replace transplants that look like they’re struggling.
More Fun Garden Projects:
- DIY Hanging Gourd Flower Pot
- How to Prepare a Better Flower Bed with Spring Bulbs
- DIY Butterfly House
- How and When to Plant Summer Bulbs
- DIY Raised Garden Bed
- Weed barrier
- Time-release fertilizer
- Plants ready for transplanting
- Drill and auger bit
- Branding iron (you could also create one using a can, stick, and screw)
- Smother out the existing grass in the area that will house the flower bed. We will use a weed barrier to accomplish this goal. First, spread the fertilizer over the entire garden bed area, then place the barrier over it. We are using landscaping staples to hold the weed barrier in place while we plant the bed.
- Get the branding iron & fire ready. We'll use this to burn holes in our weed barrier to place the plants. If you don't have a branding iron, you can make one using a cat food can, a tobacco stick, and screw to hold things together. Your fire can be any super hot heat source (charcoal fire, propane burner, or wood fire).
- Measure and mark the weed barrier for hole placement. I placed the holes at 9 inches center to center, the rows are also 9 inches apart.
- Once you have burned your holes in the barrier, create a hole in the soil for your plants, I used an electric drill with an auger bit. I would suggest a 2 plus inch auger bit. Resist applying pressure to the drill; hold back on the drill to prevent the auger from jerking the drill from your hands. Keep the speed slow and pressure low.
- Finally, time to plant--The fun part! I kept a bucket of plant food on hand to soak each planter pack before planting, but you don't have to. After putting each plant in the ground, I used compost to fill the hole around it so it fit snuggly.
- Last, mulching the bed. I delayed mulching the bed just in case I needed to replace any transplants that didn’t make it. In hindsight, I should have mulched sooner, because the heat from the weed barrier created a lot of stress on the plants and forced me to water daily.
We are in planting zone 7; the bed was created on April 26 and mulched on June 4.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver, 3/8-Inch (LDX120C)
Auger Drill Bit for Planting 3x12inch and 1.6x9inch Garden Auger Spiral Drill Bit Bulb Planter Auger Post Hole Digger Garden Spiral Hole Drill Planter Soil Auger Planting Auger for Hex Driver Drill
The Andersons PGF Balanced 10-10-10 Fertilizer with Micronutrients and 2% Iron (5,000 sq ft)
150 Pcs 6 Inch Garden Landscape Sod Staples Fence Stakes Pins - Anti-Rust Stakes with Plastic Gasket for Anchoring Weed Barrier Fabric Ground Cover Landscaping Tubing Garden Staples (150 PCS)
Farm Plastic Supply - 3.2oz Premium Landscape Fabric Heavy Duty - (4' x 300') - Commercial Grade Landscape Fabric, Woven Landscaping Fabric, Ground Cover for Gardening, Farming, Agriculture