Five tips for perfect planting

Get ready to prepare your garden beds for spring

Image of a father and sons preparing their garden

Getting your garden ready for spring planting is essential for a successful and thriving season. Here are five key steps to prepare your garden:

  1. Spring clean your garden beds: Just like you declutter the inside of your house, take some time to declutter your garden beds. Remove any debris, weeds and leftover plants from last season that may have gotten messy over the winter. This will make a clean slate for new growth this spring! 
  2. Prep your soil: Test your soil with a home testing kit to assess its pH and nutrient levels. Jones Valley Teaching Farm recommends testing your soil every 2-3 years. This will make sure your soil is ready for new produce and plants. Bonus tip: Add compost to make your soil even healthier. When working your soil before planting, make sure your soil is not too wet to avoid compaction and damage to soil structure which can cause drainage problems and make it harder for your plants’ roots to penetrate the soil.
  3. Mulch: Refresh your mulch to help regulate soil temperature, maintain moisture and minimize weeds. Choose your mulch based on your aesthetic preferences and garden needs. 
  4. Practice your pruning: By pruning your plants, trees and shrubs, you’ll encourage healthy growth and improve the overall look of your garden. Pruning also allows for better air circulation, reducing the risk of sick plants. Please note, if you have spring-blooming plants, wait until after they have bloomed to prune!
  5. Plan your plants: Create a plan for the year—what do you want to grow, and are those plants compatible with your space? Consider how much light your garden gets, how much space you have and the climate where you live. Once you have a plan in place, purchase your seeds and bulbs. And if you have to dig a fresh flower bed, be sure to call 8-1-1 before you break ground. 

Regional resources for planting

  • If you’re based in Alabama, follow this guide for home gardening across the state
  • If you’re based in Missouri, check out Seed St. Louis for the best time to harvest and more helpful tips

With a little preparation following these steps, you'll create a healthy and well-prepared foundation for your garden, setting the stage for a successful and bountiful growing season. Happy planting!