How to Prep Your Garden for New Plants

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Now that you’ve spent some time on your lawn, it’s time to move focus to your garden.

Before you decide what you’re planting this year, you’ll need to clean up your flowerbeds and manage any existing vegetation. Clearing this area up will help prevent weeds and keep your garden looking its best. Make sure to add any organic waste to your yard waste or composting bins.

Here are 11 steps to get your garden growin’.

  1. Wait for warm weather. The best time to give your garden its spring makeover is when the weather is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a week straight. Along with this, you’ll want to wait for your garden to be thawed and dried out before you start your work. Starting too soon could cause the soil to get too compact and hinder new growth.
  • Check for bugs. Be conscious that many insects that are beneficial to the ecosystem may be using your garden as a shelter until warm weather. It would be best to look up what bugs may be in your area and learn how to properly clean your garden while allowing them to still emerge in a few weeks.
  • Get rid of thick layers of leaves. It isn’t necessary to remove all the leaves from your garden because they help the soil as they decompose. It is a good idea to clean up areas with too many leaves, though, as these areas can attract disease. Any mulch you add later can be added on top of the leaves you leave.
  • Remove winter mulch. Take out any winter mulch you applied so you can apply a fresh layer after your planting is done.
  • Weed. Get rid of any weeds you see while their roots are still shallow. For any harder-to-manage weeds, you may need to purchase weed killer.
  • Pull any annuals from last year. These plants do not come back after winter and need to be taken out of your garden. Make sure you get all of the roots and make room for any new plants you may be adding. 
  • Get rid of dead veggies. Along with weeds and annuals, you’ll need to remove any leftover vegetables from last year’s garden. Try not to leave anything behind so you will have growing space for your new crop of vegetables.
  • Remove dead leaves or branches from perennial plants and shrubs. These plants come back year after year and will need some care after the winter. Prune branches or remove any dead leaves on these plants. Be mindful of new growth while trimming — you do not want to cut off any yet-to-bloom buds. This is the time to trim back any overgrown shrubs or vines. As you would expect, each plant will likely have different needs, so we recommend doing your research before your get to trimming.
  • Plant. This step is entirely up to your vision. Find those flowers you love or the veggies you need and get them in your garden. Don’t forget to stake anything that might need help growing upwards. Just fasten your plants gently with some plant ties to give them extra support.
  • Fertilize. Depending on what type of plants you have growing in your garden, you may need different types of fertilizer. This would be another step where you will need research your specific plants and what is best for them.
  • Edge the garden. Grass is great in your yard, but you don’t want it creeping into your garden. Edging is the process of establishing the shape of your garden. There are many different tools you can use to accomplish this, like a spade or a rotary. Create a crisp line to separate your garden and lawn and take out any grass growing in your garden.
  • Mulch. Now that your garden is planted and cared for, it’s time to add the final touch. Mulch will prevent weeds as well as help conserve water and keep the roots cool. It also completes the work you did to edge the garden and keeps grass out.

How can Steelcoat® help? We’ve got quality Trash Bags and Contractor Bags to help you when clearing up your garden. Our Low Density PE Plastic Sheeting can act as a weed barrier and moisture trap when laid in your garden before planting and mulching or can cover any materials and keep messes off your lawn as you replant your garden. Don’t forget, next week we’ll be walking you through how to keep your gutters clean. Follow us at Steelcoat Products to see all our updates.