Preparing a flower bed for spring requires a bit of hard work and a few simple tips.
Once done it will ensure a colourful and hopefully weed free display in
the summer. Armed with the correct tools for the job, the first task is to get
amongst the plants and remove all the old and dead growth from last winter –
dead stems from perennials can now be cleared into the wheelbarrow and
added to the compost heap. Once the ground is free from old plant debris, soil
preparation can begin.
First take your small garden fork and dig out any deep rooted weeds in the
bed taking care not to snap off the taproot in the ground which can regrow.
Also, take care that making sure you do not excavate any of your plants in the
process. It can be a lengthy task, but you will be rewarded with a neat and
uncluttered garden bed.
Next, take a garden fork – or long handled turning tool if you have one – to
turn over the soil. It will aerate the ground and expose any hidden bugs and
slugs to early spring frosts which will kill them. Work the soil carefully around
all the established plants and seedlings if they have already started to grow.
You should notice the colour change as you cover the ground.
Now it’s time to feed your plants and give them all the required nutrients that
will encourage a new season of healthy growth. You can use chicken manure
pellets, but there are several alternatives to putting those key nutrients back
into the soil. Sprinkle the pellets carefully around each plant, and then dig into
the soil to ensure the roots are properly fed.
Finally, you will need a good covering of well rotted compost – two to three
inches is the ideal thickness, in between, but not on top of each plant. Every
gardener will have his own mix that has been fermenting over the winter
months. Once spread with a garden spade, this part of the gardener’s
job is complete, and the bed is prepared. In a few weeks the compost, with a
bit of help from the works, will rot into the soil and you will see a weed free
border packed with lush plants.