The quality of your garden soil determines the condition of your vegetation. Rich and fertile garden beds naturally result in lush flora. The most important procedure in gardening is the preparation of the garden bed because it is the most basic step of all. The bed is where your plants will start to grow and flourish. Hence if the bed is poorly established, your garden will not be very productive and healthy. To prepare a garden bed properly, follow the steps below.
- Bring out your gardening materials. You will use a rake, spade, stakes, string, organic mulch, and fertilizer. A lot of garden enthusiasts are now using organic products in cultivating and enriching the soil. You can buy these products from manufacturers of organic agriculture products.
- Start early. The best time to prepare your garden bed is during spring. As soon as snow has thawed and temperature has risen to a comfortable level, start reviving your garden by setting up the soil bed. However if you are aiming at a long-term preparation and you want to treat the soil with natural fertilizer from decomposed grass and leaves, start the preparation in autumn. Turn the grass and leaves in by digging the soil with a shovel for them to decompose during the winter season. By the time the cold season is over, the grass and leaves will have perfectly decomposed, enriching the soil underneath.
- Set up the bed in an ideal spot. Modern methods allow gardeners to cultivate plants in any location. However with your home garden, the best place is a spot where there is enough supply of sunshine at any time of the day. The ideal place is a nook in your yard that faces the east. There must be no tall trees, structures and other obstructions that may prevent sunlight from reaching your garden bed. Maintain a good distance between the garden bed and walkways.
- Cultivate the soil. With a shovel, dig and turn the soil so that the inner part is on top and the outer part goes under. Through this method, the decomposed materials on top of the soil will then be buried under the bed, thus providing nourishment for the plants’ roots.
- Create a mound. Compress the soil together to form a mound or bed. At this point, you need to measure the exact area that you intend to plant. Use a string to align the edges and rows of the bed. You can embed several stakes on the sides of the mound to designate the area as your garden bed.
- Relax the soil. Avoid having a compact soil in your garden bed because it will prevent air from reaching the roots of plants. Loosen the soil by digging with a hand shovel to almost one foot in depth. While loosening the soil, you can incorporate the fertilizer already as you go along. Use a rake or fork to shake off the topsoil.
- Dig shallow canals. Prevent water from getting stocked up in the bed by making shallow canals or ditches in between rows. These canals have two purposes: to allow the water to penetrate through the soil and roots of plants and to let excess water flow out freely from the bed.
Another useful tip that you must remember is to place newspapers under the bed to check the growth of parasites such as the perennial grass and soil bacteria. The paper will wear out in time, but certainly it has served its purpose before it decays for good.