Whether It’s a Space for Spinach, or a Spot for Snapdragons, It’s Time to Prepare a Proper Garden Bed.
The power of definition can’t be denied. While a lush lawn is beautiful in its uninterrupted greenness, it often begs for an accent – a pop of plantings that command the eye. What a perfect way to sum up the appeal of the garden bed.
Before You Pick Up a Tool
The process begins with thought. Step back to see how the bed will “fit into” the area around it, for some important context. Will the bed contain sun-loving daisies, shade-hungry hostas or carrots? Will it be a square, a perfect circle or a wavy freeform? Do you prefer ground level plantings or raised beds? If you’re creating beds close to the house, be sure to plant at least three feet out. Sprinkle white flour to define borders and you’re ready to…
Roll Up Your Sleeves
A little work is first on the agenda. The top layer – usually the lawn – needs to be removed with a spade or sod cutter. Accept some advice from every gardener who has toiled before you: don’t dig up more than you can do! You can always expand the bed later on. Above all, be sure you can reach the middle of the new bed from the edge. You don’t want to be tiptoeing through the tulips, as they say, to reach the center plants. Dig at least eight inches down, and if you like, line the bed with edging. Now you’re ready to…
Dish the Dirt
What power you wield over the soil in your new garden bed! Do a little research on the soil mix preferred by the plants you’ll be planting. The type of soil affects drainage, something that’s crucial to plant health. Add some nice, rich organic matter like compost into the soil, regardless of its makeup. A little TLC goes a long way, so remove rocks and other debris. Now you’re ready to…
Put Plants in Their Place
Just as you arrange furniture, take time to plan what goes where, by placing pots on top of the dirt. Keep an eye focused on the plant’s size when mature, allowing every inch required. Keep the other eye on height, so the tallest plants don’t end up on the outer edges, hiding the others.
Now dig in. Settle plants into their new home and water, water, water – and then water some more. Once you see how much beauty a bed can create, there will probably be many more to come and now you know how to prepare a garden bed in the future!