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How to prepare your border for planting

Good preparation is the foundation for a beautiful and low maintence garden.

How to prepare your border for planting

Preparing the soil correctly for your borders is the foundation for a long-lasting display in your garden. The purpose of this preparation is to improve soil structure and moisture retention. A little time and effort on this process will pay dividends later.

The first step is to turn over the top 10 – 15 cm of soil with a fork or spade. This is done to loosen any weeds and large stones, which need to be picked out. It also creates a good environment to turn the compost into.

When weeding deep rooted plants like dandelions, go down as deep as possible to pull the whole ‘tap route’ out. If you leave a tiny bit it will grow back, meaning more weeding in the future. The more weeding you do now, the less you will have to do later.

With a spade or fork break up any big clumps of soil or clay. Remove any larger rocks or roots and dispose of these responsibly. When digging be careful to avoid electrical cables and water pipes. Be considerate around big trees to avoid their roots, you don’t want to damage them.

If you have loamy soil, it can be better to leave the soil as it is. This is because there is already a good soil structure with lots of nutrients which you don’t want to lose. Read our guide to soil types for more information.

For other soil types It’s generally a good idea to add in some organic matter – compost or manure for example, and then turn it over again using a fork or a spade.

Finally, rake over the soil to make the surface flat for planting. Remember, putting in the hard work now saves time in the future and helps your plants thrive.

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