Gardeners who take pride in their flower gardens are always looking for ways to make their flower beds more attractive and interesting. One way to do this is to create and maintain a clean flower bed. The best time to clean your flower bed is in the early spring, before flowers are planted and begin growing. Here are six steps you can use to clean and prepare your flower bed.
Step 1 - Plan Your Flower Bed and Its Landscaping
Before you start your cleaning, take time to view your flower bed from a landscaping perspective, before it becomes crowded with flowers and bushes. This is the best time to decide which flowers will look better at the rear and edges of the bed. If you are planning to add bulbs, roses, or annuals, now is a good time to decide where you will plant them.
Step 2 - Take Care Using Gardening Tools
Preparing your soil, removing weeds, and tilling your soil will be an important step in cleaning your garden. But it can also be one that results in harming early plants, such as crocuses, if you use the wrong kind of gardening tool. Rather than using larger tools such as rakes, you will find that the smaller and more manageable hand-held tools are less likely to uproot early flowers and buried bulbs.
Step 3 - Prune Bushes
Bushes and shrubs in your flower garden can add variety, beauty, and interest. You should include them in your spring flower bed cleaning. Prune back sucker branches and those that don't contribute to the beauty of the bush. Remove dead branches from the bush and dead leaves from beneath it. It might even be necessary to remove bushes that are dead or relocate those that may be growing in the wrong place in the garden.
Step 4 - Remove Debris
After winter months, your garden will be covered with loose leaves, mulch, dead plants, weeds, unwanted compost, and maybe even poop from your pets. Remove all of this and pull up dead annuals. Removing larger pieces of debris by hand, such as dead branches and bushes, will give you clearer view of the garden bed. You will then be able to see new weeds, smaller debris you will want to collect with a hand rake, along with plants and bulbs you may want to relocate to a different part of the garden.
Step 5 - Add Grass Clippings
When you have finished cleaning your garden bed, it will be a good time to add grass clippings to the bed top to help control new weeds from sprouting and add nitrogen to the soil.
Step 6 - Add Earthworms or Nightcrawlers
In addition to helping to keep the soil loose, earthworms and nightcrawlers will add castings (droppings) which will contribute nutrients to the garden soil. Sprinkle the garden soil to moisten and soften it. After a few hours when the moisture has dissipated throughout the soil, it will be time for you to begin planting your new flowers.