If you’re looking to start a new garden bed, don’t waste time and effort digging up the grass and weeds. Instead, smother the existing growth with newspapers. Mark out the garden bed and mow the area as short as possible. Cover it with six to eight layers of newspaper, and place compost, soil, or mulch on top to keep the paper in place. Yesterday's news will smother the existing weeds and grass, and then decay into the soil, leaving you with a new planting bed ready for your choice of vegetation.