For some reason, many beginning gardeners believe that when the weather begins to warm up, they can simply start planting their bedding plants. The truth of the matter is that spring bedding often requires a bit of preparation work and effort on your part. Use these steps to ensure that you and your spring bedding are ready for the new gardening year.
- Clean up. The first step in preparing spring bedding is to actually do a bit of cleaning up. When you look at your planting bed, you will want begin removing anything that really doesn't belong there. For example, you will want to remove any branches, leaves, old mulch, and so on. As long as the organic items you remove are not weeds, you can simply toss them into your compost pile (if you have one). Any other items that you remove should be disposed of properly.
- Do some weeding. Once you have the beds fully cleaned up, you can do a little preventative maintenance. In effect, what you should do is take the time to do a bit of weeding. Carefully go through your garden bed and remove any plant that you don't want to have in it. Remember that the true definition of a weed is any plant in an area that shouldn't be there. While grass may look good in your lawn, it really doesn't belong in the garden bed. Dispose of any weeds properly to help prevent future contamination.
- Add a bit of nutrients. Whether you want to use your own compost mix, or fertilizer that you have purchased, you should add a bit to the soil in the garden bed. This will help ensure that the soil has the proper amount of nutrients to feed anything that you later plant in the bedding. A good rule of thumb is to lay down about three inches of the fertilizer or compost, and then mix that into the soil with a hoe, spade, or even a trowel.
- Mulch. With the nutrients mixed into the soil you can now add another protective layer, some mulch. By adding about three inches of mulch to your bedding you will be able to help warm up the soil, and also help prevent any weeds from working their way into the ripe garden bed. When you are considering the type of mulch that you want to use, be sure that you use organic mulch such as straw, wood chips, or something similar.
Now that you have your spring bedding prepared, you are pretty much ready to begin planting. Keep in mind that you will want to postpone the planting until the risk of frost has passed for the year. Once you have the plants in the ground, you will still need to keep an eye on them, and maintain the plants as you normally would.
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