How to Prepare Seedbeds for Spring Sowing

How to Prepare Seedbeds for Spring Sowing

Preparing the Right Program

Of course, the list of tasks for preparing your beds for the season may vary. Much will depend on the specifics of your plot, its location, the specific soil, and what kind of crops you plan to grow. However, there are a few “must-haves” — things you can’t afford to be without when preparing your seedbeds. There are a few things you need to do first.

Assess the Situation

Before you start your spring work, you need to make sure the soil is ready. The easiest and most proven way to do this is to take a small piece of soil in the palm of your hand and try to crumble it. If, despite your efforts, the lump still sticks to your hand, then now is not the time to work. If the lump of soil immediately crumbles into dust — alas, you are too late, the soil has dried out too much and you will have to water before preparing the bed. However, if the soil has disintegrated into small fragments, it’s time for spring tillage.

Digging out the Soil

Of course, it is best to dig out the plots in the fall after the harvest. However, if for some reason this is not possible, you should start digging in the spring. In the spring, the soil should be tilled to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm), always turning the soil layer sufficiently so that the lower part of the soil rises to the top.

Application of Fertilizers and Soil Conditioners

Apply fertilizers and soil amendments at the same time as digging (or raking if you are not digging in the spring). Their composition depends on the soil conditions of the plot and the crops that will be grown in your beds.

Loosen the Soil

After digging, the soil should be loosened to ensure the necessary moisture and air exchange. Do not dig too deep — a layer of 2–4 inches (5–10 cm) is sufficient. It is also important at this stage to remove any weed roots from the previous year so that they do not germinate and become competition for future “residents” of your beds.

Shaping of Seedbeds

Shaping of Seedbeds - How to Prepare Seedbeds for Spring Sowing

Lifecycle of the Perfect Bed

In addition to the jobs you simply can’t live without, there are small “fly in the ointment” that can make your job in the field easier and your seedbed more “productive”.

How to Make the Bed “warm”?

If the soil is not yet ready for tillage, but you want to start planting early so you can harvest more crops this season, you can employ a little trick: cover the soil with a black non-woven material such as film or spunbond. The black actively “absorbs” the rays of even the cool spring sun, and the thick material creates a powerful greenhouse effect that warms the soil more quickly.

Planting on Schedule

Any experienced gardener knows the importance of crop rotation. To avoid soil depletion, you need to alternate planting with different vegetable and garden crops as needed. For example, legumes enrich the soil with nitrogen, which is good for some other plants.

Preparing for the Gardening Season

The value of shoveling beds in preparation for planting is not news to anyone. But not all gardeners know that digging up the road can be beneficial — it removes weed roots, making it easier for you to weed later.

How to Protect Seedbeds from Returning Frost

How to Protect Seedbeds from Returning Frost

How to Choose the Box Material for Your Raised Beds

Boxes and enclosures for raised beds are made of wood, metal or plastic materials. Wooden fencing is the most budget-friendly solution, and many gardeners don’t even consider other options. But this is futile — unfortunately, such fences for seedbeds are extremely short-lived. A box made of untreated wood won’t last long, and once treated, the material will no longer be environmentally friendly and may pose a threat to your plot.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store