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3.2 Preparing the growing surface
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3.2 Preparing the growing surface

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  • 1. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for planting Putting it togetherPreparing the growing surface
  • 2. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingPreparing your base soil Mark out your bed and then turn the soil over with a spade or shovel. Check the depth of the soil. Ideally the soil is dark, friable, and 30- 40cm deep. If it’s not, fork over the bottom of the trench or double dig.
  • 3. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingBuilding your soil Soil is best prepared over time. This bed has had a combination of seaweed and dried sheep manure added and left for 3 months. It is now ready to be worked into the soil.
  • 4. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingCultivation You need to dig deeply and thoroughly mix the soil layers by breaking up and turning over the soil. Don’t make hard work of it! Break the task up by taking rests — sit and enjoy your garden.
  • 5. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingPlanting boardYou can use a planting board to stand on when youare cultivating so you don’t compact the soil.Some people use these when they are replanting theirbeds, hence the name.
  • 6. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingPartly cultivated bed Once the bed has been completely dug or forked over … • break up any remaining large clumps • remove any weeds or debris
  • 7. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingFinishing the bed Most people rake and contour (shape) the bed as the final preparation before planting. Rake it smooth to form a level planting surface. This also helps to further break up the soil so it is left friable and ready for planting.
  • 8. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingThe completed bedYour finished bed shouldbe left …• smooth and level• weed and debris free• with fine and crumbly soil
  • 9. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingAn example You can prepare the soil in part of a bed only. Here we have worked up the soil adjacent to this planting of garlic which has already been growing for three months. We can now plant out the rest of the bed.
  • 10. Topic three: Prepare a garden bed for plantingPlanting the bed Now that we have finished preparing the soil we can plan the layout of our new plantings and start planting our transplants.