How to Prepare Soil for Planting

Posted by admin on Aug 19, 2019 under Gardening
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Whether you are a pro at gardening or just getting started, everyone knows just how important soil is if you want your plants to grow and prosper. Learning how to grow different types of vegetables or flowers is great, but arguably the most important thing is the process you must follow to prepare the soil beforehand.

While to us it must seem unimportant, to plants the soil represent their home, and whether you are a flower or an animal, the quality of your home can mean the difference between life and death (in some cases at least).

If you want to know how to get a flower bed ready or how to prepare soil for planting vegetables, look no further. Read this post to find out how to prepare soil for gardening.

How to get a flower bed ready for planting?

If you are thinking of having a beautiful flower garden for next spring, then you should start thinking about preparing the soil for it now, as autumn approaches. This way, by the time Spring arrives, you will have the perfect base to start your beautiful garden.

You can prepare soil for gardening in two ways:

  • Digging or tilling the soil
  • Turning over the soil by hand

Preparing the soil by digging:

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1. Weed the garden by removing any type of vegetation

You can do this with herbicide, or manually with a flat spade. This has to be done properly if you want your flowers to grow successfully, without grass or other type of vegetation taking away the nutrients in the soil.

When using herbicide, you will have to let it sit in the soil for about a week before going in with a spade and removing the plants. You will know when they are ready to be removed as the weeds will begin to turn a yellow colour.

2. Feed the soil organic matter

Once you have the garden bed ready, it’s time to give the soil the nutrients it needs to help it grow healthy plants. This can be done by spreading organic matter, such as compost, decomposing leaves and well-rotten manure. You will have to spread two or three inches of it on the ground.

3. Turn the soil over

Once you’ve spread the organic matter, it’s time to get your hands on that spade again and turn the soil over to a depth of up to eight inches. After that’s done, rake it all at an even level.

Preparing the soil without digging:

This method will suit you if you are not in a rush to plant your flowers as it can take up to one season for the soil to be ready. This is great if you are starting to prepare your soil in winter or autumn because you will need to leave the organic matter to sit for a couple of months. This way, the soil will be ready for planting in spring.

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1. Get rid of the grass

You can start by removing the vegetation that is already planted in the soil. As this doesn’t need to be as thorough as in the previous point, you can do it by mowing it with a lawn mower at its lowest setting.

2. Layer newspapers on the ground

Before you begin, you will need plenty of newspapers for this, enough to layer about 12 sheets on the ground to help smother the roots. If you don’t want to use this method, you can remove the roots using herbicide instead.

3. Spread organic matter on the soil

The next step is to spread between 8 to 12 inches of organic matter above the layers of newspaper. Choose from decomposed leaves, compost, well-rotted manure, or even pre-made mixtures you can find at garden centres. After you’ve finished spreading the organic matter, spread it evenly with a rake.

4. Wait for a couple of months

Just like any gardening, it is important to be patient. If you want optimum results for Spring flower bed planting, it is best to do this job in autumn, or winter at the latest.  This means, by the time Spring arrives, the organic matter and insects will enrich, the soil making it a perfect garden bed for your flowers.

Having a beautiful flower garden is not only beautiful to wake up to in the morning and admire but it might also attract wildlife to your garden, such as butterflies, bees and hummingbirds making it a heavenly place to be in.

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