8 steps on how to make a great garden
If there are tall weeds, slash with a brushcutter or mow them and leave the cut parts on the ground to provide food for worms
On bare ground or slashed weeds, add some lime such as dolomite and organic fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter to attract and feed worms
If Kikuyu or Couch grass regrowth or invasion is likely, a layer of newspaper or cardboard may not be enough!!Lay organic weedmat on the ground and take the mat up and over a barricade such as garden boards about 75mm high so the Kikuyu or Couch grass has to go over the top to reach your garden – then you have a chance to cut it or spray with herbicide before it takes over.Then put healthy topsoil or sterile potting mix about 20cm deep on top. The weedmat will gradually be consumed and breakdown and the plant roots will grow through it from above.
4. Plant or cover
If you have started with bare ground, it is time to plant. If you have slashed weeds on the ground, you may want to cover it and wait a few weeks for the weeds to die and go flat before you plant.
5. Deny weeds growth
Most weeds come from the topsoil but none can live without sunlight.
Cover the soil/slashed weeds with 6 to 10 sheets of overlapping newspaper or cardboard, then about 50 to 75mm of mulch to hold down the newspaper, look better, keep the ground moist and most importantly, provide habitat for insects.
6. Any light that reaches the ground will allow weed seeds to sprout.
Use wet shredded paper to wrap tightly around the base of the plant to keep the light out. Cover the ground between plants with overlapping newspaper, cardboard or wet shredded paper and cover with mulch.If you are planting into a garden that has already been covered with newspaper and mulch, be careful to minimise the amount of dirt you bring to the surface and cover it with shredded paper.
A Pottiputki planter is good for this if your soil is suitable. Click on this link here to see one in action
7. Small or low-growing plants can get lost during the mulching so we really recommend putting the pot upside down, covering each plant when you have planted it and wrapped it with wet shredded paper. Take the pot off when all the mulching is finished.
8. Admire your mulched garden that will grow really well. To keep out weeds, see our page on Let’s Stop Weeding!