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Step by Step Planting Bed Preparation – Now is the time!

Looking for an outdoor Winter project if the weather is nice?

We are often asked what is the best method for planting landscape plants in order to ensure
success.   The following steps should be helpful.

  1. All grass should be removed. This can be done by striping all the grass off but spraying with roundup is much easier.
  2. After the grass is gone or has died the soil should be worked up at this point using a shovel or by tilling the bed. Any dead grass can be turned over as this will add organic matter to the soil.
  3. Add about 3”-4” of compost to the bed then work soil again to mix the existing soil with the compost.
  4. Your planting bed is now ready for Spring planting. Make sure that if they are container grown plants that the roots are disturbed so they don’t circle the root ball. Many landscapers will cut the root ball several times all around the ball. For ball and burlap trees and shrubs make sure that all nylon strings are cut and if a metal basket is in the root ball peel the top of the basket down. The plants should be planted slightly higher that the top of the root ball to allow for mulching around the plant. Planting plants too deep is a common problem that we see in the landscape.
  5. After planting about 3” of mulch should be spread all over the bed. This will hold down weed growth and help the soil retain more moisture.
  6. Water the bed with about 1” of water –either with irrigation or rain water.