How to prepare soil for gardening The soil that your garden plants are to be planted in is the most important first step you can take in ensuring a healthy garden. The soil is the foundation and will effect how your garden grows. There are two ways to prepare your garden bed.
One way is to dig and till and the other is a no-dig flowerbed. Remove grass or other existing vegetation. You can do this with a flat spade or you can use a spray such as Roundup. Spread two or three inches of organic matter over the soil. The can include well-composted manure, composted leaves, or compost over the bed. With a garden spade, turn the soil to a depth of about eight inches. Break up any part of soil that is altogether.
Rake it level. This method can be used if you do not need to plant right away, and it does not bother you to look at a mound of organic matter for a season. This project can be started in early spring or fall. In either case, you will be ready to plant the following spring.
- Cut the existing grass at your lawnmower’s lowest level
- Spread a layer of newspaper about 12 sheets thick to smother the roots
- Over the newspaper, spread eight to twelve inches of organic matter.
This can be well-rotted manure, compost, or a mix of compost and rotted leaves. You can also use triple mix, which consists of loam, manure, and peat. This is available at garden centres. Once this is spread, it can be raked level. If you are doing this job in fall, the mound will need to settle until spring. If you are doing it in the spring, do not plant until the next spring. Worms and soil micro-organisms will do the mixing for you. Just plant your plants without doing too much digging.