Dig in the Dirt! Soil Preparation: How Do You Prepare Garden Soil for Planting? 

Getting the yard soil ready for planting is an important part of making sure plants grow well and the harvest is good. Here is a simple seven-step plan:  

Check the texture, drainage, and pH of your garden soil before preparing it. You can test the soil or watch how water drains.  

1. Assess Your Soil

Clear the garden bed of weeds, rocks, and garbage. Clearing the area gives plants space and eliminates nutrient competition.  

2. Clear the Area

Till the soil to 8-12 inches using a garden fork or tiller. This enhances soil drainage, aeration, and root penetration.  

3. Loosen the Soil

Compost, aged manure, and peat moss improve soil texture and nutritional content. Mix amendments into soil well.  

4. Amend the Soil

Ensure soil is wet but not soggy before planting. For appropriate plant hydration, lightly moisten dry soil a day or two before planting.  

5. Check Soil Moisture

Rake the soil to remove lumps and depressions. Smooth, level ground gives plants an even growing environment.  

6. Level the Soil

Create planting rows or raised beds depending on your garden arrangement. Leave enough space between rows for plant growth and easy access, according to plant needs.  

7. Create Planting Rows or Beds

Also See

Pros and Cons: Row Gardening