Prepare a new shade garden

Asked June 6, 2020, 3:01 PM EDT

Hello. I planted a burgundy belle maple tree Fall of 2019. It's about 10 ft now. I want to make an area around it - about 10ft x 20ft into what will be in the future a shade garden. What is the best, easiest way to go about it. There is Bermuda grass and clover there now. I'm not strong enough to remove the turf. Please help me get started in the right direction. Thank you.

Ramsey County Minnesota

2 Responses

You should start in small steps. Your tree will not have that wide a canopy for a while. Start with a 6 foot circle. Save a lot of newspapers and when you have a big stack, you can put down several layers of wet newspapers and then shredded wood mulch on top. Those newspapers will smother the plants underneath. It will eventually decompose and newsprint is organic so it will not contaminate the soil. As the shade increases from your tree, that would be the proper time to expand the garden to the new area.

Thank you so much Barbara! Starting small is the key here. Big projects overwhelm me. A little bit each year makes it very doable. Thanks again!