How to Prepare Your Soil for Spring Planting
23 March 2018
As the winter weather gradually draws to a close, gardeners across the country begin thinking, planning and dreaming about their spring planting session. But there's nothing worse than watching the days get longer, pottering outside to your garden armed with your springtime flowers and bulbs, only to learn that your soil is far from ready to plant in. In this article we explore how to make sure your soil is prepared for spring planting, so you don't have to waste any time when the sunnier weather does finally roll around.
1. Keep it hydrated
Although winter can often be a very damp affair, it's not always the case, and in fact the wintry weather can leave gardens very dry and eager for watering. However few gardeners include watering in the winter garden care regime, assuming that nature will take care of it. But if you want to make sure your garden is ready for spring, spend some time on a regular basis giving it a good watering. This will keep it moist and reduce the risk of it freezing over, reducing the time needed to get it ready for the warmer weather.
2. Do the weeding
While it is true that there are relatively few plants that thrive in the winter, there are plenty of weeds that do. Without the cover of other flowers in the garden, weeds find their time to thrive, and although you may not want to spend time in the freezing cold pulling up weeds during the winter, it will pay dividends down the line if you want to get planting early in the spring. Weed removal is one of the best things you can do for your garden, preventing unwanted plants to from sucking away vital nutrients from valuable plants. So spending the time to keep it up during the winter will be one of the best things you can do for your springtime garden.
3. Turn it over when you can
Frozen soil is one of the most problematic parts of winter time landscaping; it naturally takes a lot longer to turn over your soil when it's frozen than when it is in its prime, so it's unsurprising that even the most avid gardeners will avoid it where possible. But when it comes to preparing your soil for spring planting, keeping this up to date is one of the most valuable things you can do, and is well worth the hard work in the long run.
4. Top it up with compost
Your soil will struggle to retain its nutrients during the winter, which means that even spring rolls around, your soil may take a little time to reach its optimum point for planting. To help avoid this, it's often best to prepare your soil by adding compost shortly before the spring season arrives. This will ensure that when you do finally get round to planting your spring bulbs, your soil will be ready to help them grow.
5. Decide on the best spot
During the winter is an ideal time to reflect on your garden design and make sure that when the sun starts shining you can begin planting your spring flowers in the perfect place in your garden. When it's cold outside, take some time during your garden maintenance sessions to observe where the sunny spots are or whether there are any shrubs or weeds that grow in particular areas. These spots are going to be some of the best places for your spring bulbs and flowers, so make a note of them.