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How to Prepare Your Garden for the Spring and Summer

A successful garden begins with a healthy dose of preparation before planting. Vegetable garden prep advice from horticulture experts will get your gardening like the pros.

  • 1 Week or More
  • Novice
  • All purpose granular fertilize
  • Compost
  • Garden fork
  • Garden rake

8 steps on 'How to Prepare Your Garden for the Spring and Summer'

  1. Evaluate the soil

    Determine if the soil is dry enough to work. A fistful should crumble not stay in a clump.

  2. Clear away old growth

    Clear away last year’s plant material and weeds.

  3. Watch your step!

    While working, step only in the pathways and not in the garden rows or beds.

  4. Spread compost

    Spread a two inch layer of compost evenly on the beds.

  5. Add fertilizer

    Sprinkle the recommended amount of fertilizer right over the compost.

  6. Loosen the soil

    Push the garden fork into the soil and rock back to lift and gently loosen the soil.

  7. Aerate each row

    Repeat methodically down the row until the entire area is aerated.

  8. Level the surface

    Use the rake to level to soil’s surface. With this step complete, you are ready to start planting!