How to Prepare Flower Beds for Spring Plantings

How to Prepare Flower Beds for Spring Plantings

Mar 13th 2024

Spring is almost here, and it's the season all gardeners wait for to dig out their gardening tools and get their hands dirty in the soil. Late winter to early spring is the best time to prepare your flower beds for spring plantings. When beds are well prepared, the most challenging part of spring gardening is over, and there will be less work during the growing season. Preparing flower beds for spring planting involves some labor. However, it is quite simple and fun to do.

This guide will teach you how to prepare your flower beds for spring planting and add a welcoming splash of color to your landscape. Learn about improving soil, weeding, mulching, edging, and more.

Pull the Weeds from the Beds

Weeding is one of the crucial tasks that needs to be done first. Weeds are easier to pull out after winter because the ground is soft. You can remove young weeds by hand. However, remove the weeds from the root, or they will grow back. Therefore, it is best to weed after a rainfall.

In addition to hand weeding, it is also recommended to use a tool such as a hand trowel transplanter with a pointed tip. These handy tools allow you to dig adequately and get the complete root. After removing the weeds from the soil, put them in the brown bin or burn them to kill them before their seeds germinate. Make sure not to leave any living weeds in your beds, as they will threaten your plants and be difficult to remove later.

Clear Debris

Give your garden beds a fresh start by general cleaning and sprucing the area to bare soil. Remove dead leaves, weeds, and debris from flower beds. A rake helps clear away debris or twigs. Put dead organic matter into the compost bin to break down. You can also cut back any dead growth of your perennials and grasses. Once you have removed all the debris, you can assess the garden soil to determine if it is ready for spring planting.

Remove Garden Pests

Find and remove any hibernating pests in your flower beds to avoid trouble in spring and summer. Carefully check the crowns of perennial plants for garden pests like aphids, slugs, and snails. They tend to hide during the winter.

Prepare the Soil for Spring Planting

The next step is to test your soil and prepare it for spring planting. Pick some soil from your flower bed and crumble it between your fingers. It will give you an idea of how compact or loose your soil is. Soil is usually hard after the winter. If the soil is heavy and compacted, improve the soil by loosening it with a shovel. You only need to dig 2-4 inches to loosen it.

Additionally, you can test the soil pH using pH testing kits. A soil test will inform you about nutrient levels in the soil, fertility, and more. Mix compost and soil amendments when working the soil. This will help your plants do better throughout the growing season.

Related Post: Gardening: Know Your Soil Type

Add Compost

Adding compost to your soil is one of the excellent ways to enrich and improve it. Compost is an essential ingredient for your garden's soil health. It lightens heavy soil, provides essential nutrients, and retains moisture in the soil. So, add compost to your flower beds for healthy plant growth.

Compost is a mixture of decomposing organic matter that adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. You can create DIY compost from discarded food scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Moreover, you can find premium quality compost from your local garden center.

Add Mulch to the Flower Beds

The next step in preparing your garden beds for planting is to add mulch. Mulch is placed on top of the soil and serves decorative and functional purposes. It suppresses weed growth and helps soil retain moisture, benefiting soil health.

Common mulch materials are bark, wood chips, and pea straw, while inorganic mulches are made of rocks or gravel. If you are using rock or pebble mulch to cover flower beds, you can place the landscape fabric at the bottom to reduce weed growth. However, bark and wood mulch do not usually require landscape fabric.

Divide Perennials

Spring season is for enjoying new growth in your garden beds. So, now is the perfect time to divide perennials that are overgrown or growing beyond the bed. Some perennial plants crowd each other, which lowers their performance and growth. Daylilies, Hostas, Shasta daisies, and many perennial plants benefit from being divided in spring.

Divide perennials, evenly space the separated clumps over a large area, and replant them quickly. You can gift a few of your perennials to your neighbors or friends. If the perennials have begun to bloom or are in bud, avoid dividing them. Instead, wait until they bloom or separate in early fall.

Related Post: Perennials That Bloom All Summer

Edge Flower Beds

After preparing the beds for spring planting, consider edging them to enhance the appearance of your landscape and showcase your incredible work. The end of winter is an ideal time to edge flower beds. Not only does edging separate the garden beds from the yard, but it also creates a shelf to hold mulch and prevent grass from overtaking your beds. You can frame your flower beds using bricks, wood, or plastic edging. Each will make your area stand out and look great.

Order Summer-flowering Seeds or Bulbs and Start Planting

Lastly, it is time to order summer-blooming seeds or bulbs and prepare for the spring season. You can order the seeds online by looking through gorgeous new varieties you have not grown. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the growing details of each flower you plan to plant in the season.

Related Post: 20 Bulbs to Plant in the Spring for Summer Blooms

The bottom Line

This is how your flower beds are ready for spring to provide a non-stop explosion of color in your landscape throughout the summer. The above steps will help you start from scratch and prepare your beds for planting. Flower beds can enhance the beauty of your landscape and home's exterior, adding a welcoming touch. The bold colors and delightful scent of flowers will change the look and vibe of your home. Sharpen your gardening tools and get a head start this growing season with well-prepared garden beds!