How to prepare the soil in the garden
How to get the soil in your garden borders ready for planting your
This will depend very much on what state the soil is in when you start.
If you have kept it neatly weeded and used it for other plants it is
probably in fairly ok condition. It might need some nutrients digging
in though to benefit the plants.
First though weed out any obvious weeds: things like dandelions are
a nuisance if you don’t get them out. Dig out as much of the root
as possible to avoid it regrowing. Ideally you should get out the entire
root but they can go down a way.
Annual weeds like chickweed probably aren’t much in evidence early
in the year but will start up as soon as the weather is warm enough.
Dig through the soil and remove any matted bundles of old roots or
Remove the weeds and put them on the compost heap.
Dig in some well rotted compost or horse manure. Make sure it is fine
and well rotted though. You can buy it in bags from the garden centre
and this is great stuff for your garden. You won’t need a lot
as you can water the plants with a fertiliser every month. Adding compost
or manure will improve the soil condition generally which is a good
thing and you’ll get more worms in it too!
It'll also mean the soil has more organic material which means it can
retain more water which is useful if it doesn't rain much.
Level off and then rake the soil giving it a good even finish.
You should be aiming to have fine crumbly soil that rakes off evenly.
This is easiest when it's not rained for a few days. If the soil is
well then leave it as it'll be too hard to weed without removing lots
of the soil, and raking is almost impossible if it's too wet!
Get it ready in advance of planting out the plants! This is because
it will almost certainly take longer than you plan for!
If it’s got a lawn next to it then now is a good time to tidy
up the edge of the lawn, perhaps clipping it neatly or using a half
moon to tidy the edge.
Your border needs to be deep enough so plants don’t trail across
the lawn too much else they will get mowed when you cut the grass.
Once the border is level and raked you are ready to go ahead and plant.
One gardening hint is to leave the bed a week before doing anything
with it and then looking out for annual weeds sprouting up and remove
them! Some are light activated so get into the mood for growing by you
disturbing the soil.