7 Steps To Ready A Garden For Spring

Depending on your location spring may already have arrived, but for people in zones 3-7 now is the time to go outside and start work on the garden. The seven steps mentioned in the title apply to people who are starting a new garden or even just a new flowerbed. It’s all to do with preparation and making the soil ready for planting. These tips come from an article by Patricia Oelze which I found on Dave’s Garden website.

If you live in a continental climate (zones 3-7) like I do, it is starting to get warm again and you are probably anxious to get out there and do some gardening. If you already have a garden plot, you do not have to do too much, but if you are starting from scratch you will need to prepare the ground before digging in. The first thing you should do is decide where you want your garden to be and then mow that space as low as your lawnmower will go. Place three or four layers of newspaper over the entire area and then throw about five inches of leaves and mulch on top of the newspaper. Once that is done, get your hose and soak the whole area with water. In just a few weeks, the grass will be gone and you will be ready to start planting.

Plan What You Will Be Planting
Do you want to have a vegetable garden or do you prefer flowers? Or you can do both. There is no reason why you cannot grow tomatoes (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) next to marigolds (Tagetes spp.) or peppers (Capsicum annuum) next to petunias (Petunia spp.). In fact, the flowers are good at helping bring the pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden. Try to plant those that need shade behind tall plants like tomatoes or peppers. Also, you can plan for the dog days of summer when your vegetable plants are looking ragged by filling in those areas with long-lasting begonias (Begonia spp.) or cyclamen (Cyclamen cilicium).

Get Your Plants Ready
If you are growing from seed, you should start early, like now. However, I prefer to use seedlings. They do not cost much more and you can see what you are getting. I used to plant seeds, but after planting a bunch of them and only getting a few plants to bloom, I decided I would rather not wait around just to be disappointed later. Then, when I finally admit to myself that they are not going to bloom I would end up having to go get seedlings anyway. And I am sure you all know that if you wait too long, the choice of seedlings become pretty sparse at the local gardening stores and nurseries. Anyway, get them all ready and set them out in the garden next to the spots you want to plant them.

See more at Dave’s Garden