Gardeners installing a new planting area or flowerbed must start from the bottom and work up. After creating a mixture of soil rich in nutrients, lay down a barrier that will prevent weeds from encroaching upon your desired plants. Make your own landscape fabric using burlap fabric. The burlap will breathe, will allow sun to penetrate into the soil and will eventually decompose into the soil to improve the soil quality over time.
Place a double layer of burlap over the entire planting area, covering every surface of the soil with two layers of burlap. Cut the burlap to fit the planting area with scissors, if necessary. If you are piecing burlap pieces together to cover the planting area, overlap the burlap layers by approximately 3 inches to ensure complete coverage.
Install stakes along the perimeters of the burlap to hold the burlap in place. Space the stakes approximately every 3 feet along the edges of the burlap. Pound them into the soil with the hammer so the tops of the stakes are even with the soil level. Place stakes along overlapped areas through all layers of burlap to hold the burlap securely to the soil.
Use the knife to make large "Xs" through the burlap in places where you will plant. Pull the burlap back to expose the soil to enable you to plant seeds or plants in the soil.
Cover the burlap landscape fabric with the mulch of your choosing. Use stones, gravel, lava rocks or wood chips, applying the mulch in a layer that is 3 to 4 inches thick.