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Lazy Man’s Gardening in Raised Garden Beds

The Lazy Man’s Gardening Technique is a great gardening method for those who don’t have a lot of time or money, but still want a beautiful, healthy landscape. This method of gardening is also excellent for those with health considerations or mobility differences that make traditional gardening methodology difficult or even impossible. Also, for those who live in areas with less than ideal soil (clay is common), this method takes the digging and amending of heavy clay and makes it a thing of the past. We love the Lazy Man’s Gardening Technique because it makes creating new raised garden beds of all kinds a cinch, and for gardeners this is an inescapable gateway to more space, which means more planting, and more fun. So what is the Lazy Man’s Gardening Technique?


Originally designed for easy and quick vegetable planting, the Lazy Man’s Technique is pretty simple. It’s a way to prepare garden space without tilling or digging of the soil. It also means the blocking and eradication of weeds and difficult to remove grass turf, again, without digging or a lot of hard work. This technique is perfect for more than just vegetable gardens too- it works flawlessly for ornamental landscape beds. Another great part about this method of gardening is, there’s no real one right way to do it. This method can be adapted to suit materials and climate, so that it works for everyone, anywhere. So how does it work?


Oh so simple. We’ll stick to creating raised garden beds techniques using the Lazy Man’s Gardening method, because there are many, many methods that the Lazy Man uses for other applications.


What you need:


  • A lot of a biodegradable paper product, like newspaper, paper bags, or cardboard boxes flattened.
  • A bed edging material (if you desire)  such as landscaping block, wood, etc.
  • Compost or garden soil.
  • Plants and seeds ready to plant.
  • Mulch (grass clipping, shredded leaves, or bark mulch product, whatever you like)
  • Water

How to make a Lazy Man’s Garden:


  • First mark out where you want your new landscape garden bed to be, and mark the lines of the bed with a spray paint, chalk, an old hose, stakes, or string. Whatever you have will work. Garden beds with waving lines usually look more interesting than garden beds with straight lines, but the design is totally up to you. Remember, this method works on existing weeds or turf, so mark away where ever you want!
  • Second, lay down your paper. If you’re using a thick material like cardboard, you need your cardboard to be one layer thick. For thinner paper products, you will have to layer them thicker. Wet down your material with a hose to keep it from blowing away, and soften it so it can adhere to the ground and begin composting while the paper smothers the grass and weeds. Aim for about a centimeter of paper material thick (if you’re not using cardboard) or more after you’ve wet it down.
  • Third, install your chosen landscape edging if you’re using one. Make sure the edging is on top of your paper material. Cut away any material that pokes out of the edging border.
  • Fourth, add your soil on top of the paper. You can use prepared compost or garden soil available in bags purchased from a garden center. You will need to fill your garden bed to about 4 inches or more on top of your paper. Once you’ve added your soil, wet it well.
  • Next, layer more paper product over the top of the garden, not as thick as the bottom. Wet it well so that it stays down on the earth and doesn’t blow away.
  • And now you can plant! With a sharp knife, cut holes in the paper on top of the soil and plant in the holes. Plants that will do very well right away in a rich soil like this are numerous. For fast color and ease of care, try planting some of our beautiful daylilies such as ‘Always Afternoon’, or check out our money saving mix of beautiful daylilies if you can’t make up your mind. Check out our easy to grow garden plants.
  • Finally, water your new plants, and mulch the top of the paper. Keep the garden area well watered to encourage the breakdown of the paper. Each year after, simply refresh your mulch to keep the plants healthy and the weeds from sprouting.

This easy, cost effective, and universally accessible gardening method is a perfect way for anyone to landscape their home on a budget and with minimal work. Enjoy the rewards of lazy gardening at the same time without breaking too much of a sweat!