The best way to prepare garden soil for planting is to improve it by adding organic matter.
When you improve your soil, it will be easier to dig and turn, have more nutrients for your plants, and hold moisture better. Your garden soil will be full of living organisms and nutrients that will promote healthy plant growth and higher fruit and vegetable yields.
If you are just starting your garden, you will need to mark out your garden location with stakes and string. Then, use a flat shovel to cut the outline of the garden. Next, remove the sod, rocks, roots, weeds, etc. from the top of the soil. Then, add organic matter to your garden.
These are all great jobs for your teenagers. A ‘teenager way’ to play in the dirt.
Ideally, your garden should be prepared/turned in late fall, but early spring will also work.
Improving your garden soil with organic matter…what we do:
We have a lot of clay in our soil, so every year we try to replace what our plants use up from our garden soil, plus a little extra.
When we gather the leaves from our yard, we put them in the compost pile and add organic ‘waste’ from our kitchen and stir them in. We allow the pile to rot for a year or more and add this to our garden.
Our neighbor has a few horses and plenty of manure to spare, so we ask them for their oldest piles and spread them on our garden.
Adding ashes from our fireplace and a little sand seems to help too.
We till all this in to the soil in the fall and till again in the spring just before planting.
This seems to do the trick for our vegetable garden, what works for you?