The Q&A Archives: flower beds

Question: when is the best time to start on flower beds? i recently moved into a house where the flower beds have not been taken care of? how do i get started on getting them ready for flowers and when is the best time to do that??

Answer: As long as your soil is dry enough to work, you can go at it when the weather is comfortable enough for you to be outdoors. Take a handful of soil and squeeze it. If water drips out, it's too wet to work. If it stays in a ball, it should crumble when you push it with your finger. Don't work soil that's too wet or you'll end up with large clods in your finished beds. If all goes well with the test, go ahead and add organic matter to prepare for planting.

Start by digging the entire bed, carefully removing any plants you want to save and tossing debris, stones, weeds, etc. Then rake to level the soil and then spread 3-4" of organic matter over the top. Dig this in to a depth of about 8" and then replant any saved plants and add new plants. Once the bed is planted you can add a few more inches of organic matter over the bare soil. This will help discourage weeds and will help regulate the moisture level in the soil.

Enjoy your new flower beds!

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