Prepare: Putting it all together

Unless you are planting individual trees or shrubs, you will need to prepare your soil for planting. Preparation involves laying out your site, removing anything that has to go, making beds, and amending and grading your soil. Preparing your garden site and making sure it looks neat and “clean” before planting is a critical step in establishing a beautiful garden.

  • Outline the bed using stakes, a hose, or powdered lime.
  • Strip any grass and/or remove existing unwanted vegetation. Roots and all! This can be backbreaking work, especially when removing large established shrubs.
  • Turn the soil, add or remove additional soil if needed to adjust your bed height, add amendments and fertilizers if needed and, grade carefully. Always make sure you put in a gentle slope away from buildings to channel water away from the foundation.
  • If your site has any drainage problems, address and fix them now before you plant.
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