How to Create Landscape Beds For a Patio Makeover

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How to Create Landscape beds - How to design shape and cut out landscape beds - Thrift Diving

Drive by any home and guarantee you’ll see that nearly all of them have landscape beds. I never really thought much about how to create landscape beds when we first moved in, in 2010, thanks to the previous homeowners who must have loved gardening. Me?? I barely noticed them.

But all of that changed one summer.

It all started with my patio makeover and creating a stone walkway where I found myself itching to get outdoors, like a cat meowing by the door, begging to be let out.

I enjoyed the sun on my back, the sweat sticking to my skin, my body covered in dirt as I stood back and admired my achievements during the patio/exterior makeover!

So I wanted to share what I’ve learned about creating landscape beds and just how easy it is to design, shape, and cut out landscape beds for a patio or outdoor overhaul!

How to Create Landscape Beds

While working with RYOBI Landscapes, we created a patio makeover on a home in South Caroline.

Well, after we showed you how to use a pressure washer, the patio was super clean and ready for landscape beds.

After pressure washing….but BEFORE landscape beds

How to Create Landscape Beds - BEFORE creating the landscape beds


Once the landscape beds were designed and dug out, it was looked even better and almost ready for plants and flowers!

In-Between – With Landscape Beds Created

How to Create Landscape Beds - After creating the landscape beds




How to Create Landscape Beds - AFTER - Thrift Diving




How to Create Landscape Beds - BEFORE and AFTER of home with clean patio and landscape beds. - Thrift Diving


Doesn’t this patio and landscape bed area look fabulous?? It looks harder than it is! But in this post, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to create landscape beds!

Materials For Creating a Landscape Bed

(I participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites).


STEP 1: Use Your Garden Hose as a Guide!

I have to admit, this was a new tip I had never heard of: using a garden hose to define the shape of your landscape beds! I always wondered how they were so perfectly shaped! Come to find out, it was the garden hose right from your own backyard.

Start by spreading out the garden hose in the shape of the landscape beds.

It’s best to keep your landscape beds curvy. Try looking up any professionally landscaped pics of home and all of them are curved! Hard and sharp angles just look funny.

You can use something to mark along the shape, in case your garden hose moves, like chalk or spray paint (on the part of the grass that will be removed). And don’t spray paint your garden hose!


How to Create Landscape Beds - Use a garden hose to help design the shape of landscape beds


STEP 2: Grab That Shovel and Create the Edge

This is the part that will tire you out! Now that you know how you want your landscape beds to be laid out, you’ll have to grab your shovels. Oh–and grab a friend or your spouse. This really isn’t a job for one person! Trust me–I know. I’ve been working on my own home myself and it’s tough work!

Use your shovel and garden spade or half-moon edger to cut along the edge and to remove all the grass that’s later getting replaced with soil and mulch.

Remove as much as you can before moving on to the next step.


How to Create Landscape Beds - Dig out unwanted grass after creating the shape of landscape beds


STEP 3: Make It Sharp!

Once all the grass is cleared out, this is where you’ll want to make those landscape bed edges as sharp as possible!

Using the half-moon edger may have helped make them sharp, but to sharpen them up even more, use the RYOBI 40-volt Edger. RYOBI makes a string trimmer and edge hybrid which you can use for sidewalks and driveways, which most people know, but most don’t know that they now have an edger made especially for the job, which you can use for landscape beds, too, which is pretty cool!


How to Create Landscape Beds - Use an edger to finish off the sides


STEP 4: Go Organic!

My soil is like clumps of clay. Try growing something in that…..!!

Landscape beds are where your plants and flowers will call “home” so you’ve got to make it as hospitable as possible. Clay soil just isn’t gonna cut it.

So you’ve got to throw some compost on it and cultivate it so that the new plants and flowers you add in will actually thrive once they’re in the ground!


How to Create Landscape Beds - Till in garden soil to add in nutrients


When I was cleaning up the landscape beds beside my house, I stopped by my local nursery and told them my plans for planting boxwoods in the area. The lady was like, “Oh, you need organic compost. This is best!”

Soooo…I’ll pass that info on to you, as well: go organic!

First, let me remind you what this bed area looked like on the side of my house:


How to Create Landscape Beds - Find an appropriate area to create landscape beds.


Once I de-weeded, I found that the earth was hard and caked, and very clay-like.


How to Create a Landscape Bed - Hard ground like clay


So I used the recommended organic compost from the nursery, about 4 bags in this age, around $5.00 per bag. I’m not sure if The Home Depot sells organic compost, but if not, check your local nurseries because they’re sure to have it.

I just dumped them in the area, turned on the cultivator, and–VOILA!–the bed was ready for my boxwoods!

Anyhow, you’ll get to see later in my next post on planting and mulching how good this bed area looks after I cultivated and planted my new boxwoods! 🙂


How to Create Landscape Beds - Use organic soil to cultivate the ground


STEP 5: Plant and Mulch!

Once the area was filled in with mulch, and the DIY stone walkway was completed, the side of my house was looking fabulous!

You don’t have to use edgers. The clean edges you add with an edge can create enough of a barrier for the mulch. It just depends on your personal preferences.


How to Create Landscape Beds - AFTER - Use edgers and mulch to define the area, with a DIY stone walkway.


As you can see for this home, there were no edgers for the landscape beds, just the grass. Either way, it looks fabulous!


How to Create Landscape Beds - AFTER - Thrift Diving

And seriously, that’s IT!

If you follow these steps, you can easily create landscape beds in an afternoon, depending on how much grass you’ve got to remove!

I know–your mouth is dropped open, too, huh?

I tell ya–it really isn’t as hard as it seems until you see step-by-step.

If the outside of your home, and your patio area, are in desperate need of a makeover, it’s pretty easy to totally transform it with just a few shovels, tools, and materials!

Watch This Project in Action!

Just go ahead and watch this short 1: 47-minute video from our Outdoor Overhaul Patio Makeover Challenge to see how easy it is to create landscape beds!


Check Out the Other Tutorials In This Outdoor Series

WEEK 1: How to Deep Clean With a Pressure Washer

WEEK 2: How to Create Landscape Beds

WEEK 3: How to Plant and Mulch

WEEK 4: Adding Character and Maintaining Your Patio


How to Deep Clean With a Pressure Washer

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How to Create Landscape beds - How to design shape and cut out landscape beds - Thrift Diving



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  1. Hi Serena! Another great post!! You continue to amaze me! I just did a bed, or I should say, I’m still working on it. You gave me great Ideas. I should have used the hose idea. I somehow need to dig those trenches and make them sharp. I was thinking about using some kind of brick or edging material to keep it from caving in. This bed is a new one on the side of my house and it’s raised. Oh well, we’ll see. It’s been way too hot for me!

    Thanks again for all that you do & Share with us!


  2. Janice Farnsworth says:

    We have this “bed” in our front yard that is like the one you planted box woods in. It is so ugly (not that yours was ugly, yours was the same shape, not ugly) Tjis thing is just full of dollar weeds. I can’t wait to see the planting and mulching post. My biggest issue with that bed is that I can’t figure out what to put there. Hubby dug part of it out and I put my star gazer lilies there, but that is just a small area. I love the video, you really are in your element! I’d love to see you do a show!

    1. Hey, Janice! Yes, girl, mine was ugly, too! 🙂 I’ve got a bunch of those dollar weeds, too! How big is the area? Can you send me a picture of it? I’m curious to see what it looks like. I wasn’t sure what to put in my area, either. I wanted some green so I added boxwoods. From what I know, in gardening, things should be planted in 3s, 5s, or 7s, etc. Always odd numbers. I guess it looks better, apparently. I’m still learning about plants, myself, and what looks good where, so I suck on suggestions on exactly what to plant. But maybe you can look at the house we did in South Carolina (in the next post on planting and mulching an get some ideas! That’s where I drew some of my inspiration from! Glad you liked the video!

  3. Looking forward to seeing the end result! Don’t forget coffee grinds are also good for the soil. Can’t believe you are working outside in the oppressive DC (metropolitan area) heat. I’m staying indoors to tidy. August due to the extreme heat is generally not a good time to plant, water often. Loving the small cultivator, what a back saver!

    1. Hey, Tammara! Girllllll…..you should see my snaps on Snapchat! I show people all the step-by-step behind the scenes stuff, and yesterday I was posting sweat dripping down my face and my soaked shirt. Seriously! Lifting 40-pound bags of stones is tough, and I just bought a bunch of stones from the quarry to finish my path leading *to* my patio! 🙂 So yeah, the heat–I feel you on that one. But the funny thing is that it doesn’t bother me one bit! I actually love the heat! Thanks for the tips on planting. I’m hoping that the boxwoods I planted weeks ago survive because of the heat and temps! They seem to be doing okay so far. Crossing fingers!!!

  4. I can’t wait to see your finished backyard! Love those tools and wish I’d have had them when I was digging and building my landscape beds! Love all the entries in the outdoor challenge too! Keep up all the good work:)

    1. Hey, Wendi! The tools definitely help. I didn’t have a bunch of gardening shovels and stuff, so I’ve had to buy all that. I think I stopped keeping track of how much I spent when each trip started costing triple digits. YIKES!! It’s funny–DIY sometimes ISN’T cheap…..but when you compare it to how much it would cost if you’d paid someone to do it–now THAT Is when it’s cheap! LOL.

      I know, the entries are looking so good!! I’m rushing to get mine done! I also found a thrifted hammock frame and bought a deeply discounted new hammock from Home Depot! Let’s hope I can pull it together this week! Crossing fingers….. I’m running out of time!

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