Signs of spring surround us with the seasonal rise of horticultural excitement in the form of plant seminars, regional plant sales and tours that have been scheduled nearly every weekend until summer. The following are steps for preparing an area to receive plants.
Step One: Remove unwanted vegetation within the desired bed or planting area. This can be done by old-fashioned hand pulling/digging. Be certain to remove the entire root system of the unwanted plants/weeds. What may appear to be dormant above ground may have an extensive set of runners/rhizomes/bulbs below ground. If physical removal is not your style, eradicate existing growth by use of an herbicide such as glyphosate. Always read and follow the complete instructions for proper use and confer with your local nursery if in doubt.
Step Two: Turn the soil eight to ten inches with a garden spade or shovel. Break large soil clumps into smaller pieces.
Step Three: Add two to four inches of organic matter. This can be from your own compost pile or a favorite blend from your local nurseries in the form of aged manures or finely ground composted pine bark.
Step Four: Thoroughly blend the added composts and the existing soil within the prepared bed.
Step Five: Rake the bed smooth and level. Create sides at the boundaries to increase drainage because the prepared bed is now at a higher level.
The bed is now ready to receive your desired plant. Learn more March 7th at the St. Tammany Master Gardener Association Spring Seminar and March 20-21th at the 20th Annual Northshore Garden & Plant Sale.
stmastergardener.org/event. Happy Growing!