A couple of summers back, my dear hubby built a simple raised garden bed for me. It measures 12′ x 4′ and was originally used as a cut flower garden. This year however, I’ve decided to try my hand at a vegetable/herb garden. I’ve been dreaming of what I’ll grow all winter long. Now that the weather has finally improved here in the northeast it’s time to get to work. It’s still way to early to actually plant anything, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do. Here’s how I prep my raised garden bed for planting.
1. Clean Up
- Begin by removing any old plant debris and/or decaying leaves, then give your raised bed a thorough weeding. This certainly isn’t the “fun” part of gardening, but pulling weeds early is easier than waiting until they are larger and have deeper roots.
- Do a quick inspection of your raised bed. Make sure none of the screws have come loose, the boards aren’t bent, broken or rotting and that the weed blocker material isn’t pulling up. Take the time now to do any necessary repairs.
- Do a soil test. Testing will let you know the pH level of your soil, if any nutrients are lacking and if there are any diseases present. Testing gives you a clear idea of how to amend your soil for a better harvest.
- Once you know what condition your soil is in you’ll know what to add to it to make it ready for planting. Soil in raised beds settles over the winter, adding extra soil, organic material and fertilizer is almost always necessary.
That’s it! Now sit back and wait for Mother Nature to decide that warm weather is here to stay so you can finally plant the garden you’ve been dreaming of.