Help with planting beds?
July 3, 2014 8:37 AM   Subscribe

I have been carving some planting beds out of my lawn, and they actually look pretty good! But since I had to rip up some sod, they are about a half an inch lower than the lawn itself. Is this ok, or should planting beds be level with the lawn itself?
posted by to sir with millipedes to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
The only thing I'd be concerned with is whether the beds are in a low-lying part of the yard/garden. You'll want your beds to drain well and not be in standing water. Were they mine, now that you've skinned the sod off, I'd actually get some good organic material and dig it into the beds before planting. That'll also have the salutary effect of ensuring they're above the level of the surrounding lawn, too.

(Also, and you didn't ask, but if they were mine and you're in the northern hemisphere, I would wait to plant perennials/shrubs/trees until the autumn.)
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:43 AM on July 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Definitely mixing in planting soil, but this is all very helpful. Thank you! Other suggestions welcome!
posted by to sir with millipedes at 8:47 AM on July 3, 2014

A half inch is negligible and I wouldn't worry about it too much--the natural variation in elevation throughout your yard is probably much more significant.
posted by drlith at 9:58 AM on July 3, 2014

You might want to add some form of edging to the borders of your new beds, though. It's amazing how quickly those nice crisp edges disappear as the grass tries to reclaim lost territory.

I wouldn't worry about the depth. Over time you'll probably want to dig in organic matter anyway, and that will raise the soil level.
posted by pipeski at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just a suggestion, but containers can be buried to keep the plants from taking over the lawn. They might also allow you to set the height more precisely.

With that said, consider how you're keeping the lawn trimmed and work from there.
posted by BenevolentActor at 5:07 PM on July 3, 2014

It really depends on what you are planting.

I'll second the edging. Get some edging that you can run a lawnmower over and your life will be so much easier. Something like this.
posted by srboisvert at 7:35 PM on July 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

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