Preparing a New Garden Plot

Spending the time to prepare a new garden plot properly and thoroughly can actually save you time in the long run. Ensuring that you have correctly prepared the soil and removed any weeds or competition for plants before you set about planting anything will make your job of maintaining the garden much easier. If you are unsure about where to start when preparing a new garden plot, this guide could help.

What will you need?

  • wooden stakes
  • garden string
  • garden hoe
  • rake
  • soil testing kit

Choose your spot

The spot you choose should depend on what you will want to grow or do there. If you’re intending for the plot to be a vegetable patch or flowerbed, you should keep in mind that they will need around six hours of sunshine every day.Where possible, you should opt for a spot where the soil is well drained- thick grass or multiple weeds are an indicator of good soil drainage. It is also important that the spot is on level ground, whether naturally or man-levelled.

Mark out the boundaries

You should mark the edges of your new garden plot and use the wooden stakes and garden string to mark out the area.

Clear the area of competition

It is important to rid the new plot of anything that may interfere with your new plants. Remove existing lawn by slicing under the sod and cut it into manageable pieces. You should also remove all weeds in the area using either a weed killer or pulling them out carefully by hand, ensuring to pull out the roots, too.

Test the soil

Before you plant anything, it is important to test the soil to see what nutrients it might be lacking that could affect the growth of future plants. You should be able to purchase a soil testing kit from a good garden centre; these will come with instructions on how to effectively test the soil.

Make adjustments to the soil

After getting the results from the soil test, you will know what nutrients need adding to the soil. It is also at this point that you should make any necessary improvements to the soil drainage- you can do that by adding well-rotted manure, garden compost or composted fir bark- these should be added in layers of between one and two inches on top of the soil.

Turn the soil

You should only do this when the soil is dry enough to crumble easily, never when the soil is wet. You should turn the soil using a garden fork, concentrating on working the top 6 to 12 inches of the soil. It is important to turn the soil in order to get rid of any large clumps and to remove rocks and roots in the soil.

Get planting!

After this, your plot is now ready to have vegetables and flowers planted in it. If you’re worried that your soil isn’t quite perfect for your plants, you may want to supplement them with organic fertiliser.

Do you have any of your own tips on how to prepare a new garden plot? Share them in the comments!

[Photo Credit: Canadian Veggie]