preparing the soil for spring planting - gardening


I am way behind by Southern California standards but I finally got outside and prepared the soil in my backyard flower bed for spring planting.  I had already cut back the roses but that's all I got to before our premature heat wave sent me running for shade.

Aside from clearing out the fallen leaves and pruning the perennials the most important step is always
amending the soil and replacing nutrients before I can do the fun stuff...putting in the spring blooms.

This year it took actually buying a trunk full of pretty flowers to get me in gear but once I started there was no stopping me.

I always add a bag of chicken manure and a bag of good quality garden soil to the beds once they've been cleared of leaves and weeds.  As well as a good quality systemic fertilizer like Osmocote all over the flower bed.

After the debris is cleared I spread a layer of chicken manure and a layer of fresh soil evenly throughout the bed.  I will then go over it with a hoe making sure I mix it in well with the existing soil.  Lastly I sprinkle some Osmocote on top.  When I put in new flowers I will add a few granules of fertilizer to the hole as well.

I like using a hula hoe to turn the soil over and mix in the fresh nutrients.  If you've never used a Hula-ho before I highly recommend one.  It weeds and turns the soil over at the same time and since it's pretty narrow, it fits most everywhere in the garden.  I use it often during the gardening season for general weeding as well.  It makes quick work of a dreaded job but necessary job.

Even my hubby has caught the gardening bug and has started a few vegetables in these cute little 2 x 3 raised beds that he built over the weekend.  It really does show that it doesn't take much space to grow a few plants of your own.  Just a spot with around six hours of sunshine and a handful of seeds.

All the hard work pays off immediately with the beauty of a newly planted flower bed.  But as pretty as this looks now, it pales in comparison to what it will look like in a few short weeks and for months to come.

So what about you?  Once the weather permits, will you be out there digging in the dirt and planting a flower or vegetable patch of your own?  If not, I challenge you to find a big pot or a little piece of dirt and give it a try.  I guarantee you won't be sorry.

xo, Patty


  1. Oh, how I need to do this, but with our strange weather, which changed again last night with a cold front, I feel like I should wait.

    I would love to have my own little patch of lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and of course, some pretty flowers.

    You're inspiring me :)

  2. We are having a blizzard here in IL today, so looking at your lovely garden has me longing for Spring!

  3. It' still pretty cold up here to start a garden yet. I did spend 3 hours weeding on Saturday, fed the blue berry bushes and pruned the rosebush. I don't really plant vegetables but I received a new kind of raspberry bush for my birthday and can't wait to get it planted and see what it does. Happy gardening. :)

  4. I am so jealous! I cannot wait to get my hands dirty in the garden but we have snow in the forecast so I'll have to wait a few more weeks!

  5. Happy gardening!!!! Love the little red wagon

  6. You have such a good start and things are looking good already. Warm here yesterday and my grandson helped me with some long overdue weeding. Thanks for the info on preparing your beds. I have never used Chicken Manure or the Osmocote. Now if only I could tear myself away from my sewing machine to get started.

  7. Your post is very inspiring but we still have freezing nights here... so waiting to plant until mid March or so.. and that may even be a bit early! We just moved to our house in October and have two huge long raised flower beds that I want to get busy on.... weeding them and then refurbishing with some manure and fertilizer, etc. They will be awesome for some tall flowers like glads and Iris. Am anxious for the warmer weather to get here!

  8. Oh yes! I can't wait to get our garden started!

  9. Patty- you have inspired me.
    I too am running late, but I have started.
    I am going to add Osmocote this year.
    What a great idea!


    PS. Your blog looks great!

  10. Ohhhh, it's gonna be so pretty! I have been doing a little bit, but not enough. I need to get in gear too. Greg wants to "help" in the garden this year. I kinda like having it all to myself!!!
    xo Kris

  11. That looks wonderful! Can't wait to get my gloved hands in the dirt. :)

  12. I love it!!!! Here in Missouri we're still quite a way from gardening (snow flurries night before last) but it's coming!!! Supposed to be in the 60s this weekend. Of course it'll get cold again but I love the "hint" of spring!! We are major gardeners. I've tried to get my husband to scale back and do the raised bed thing since its just the two of us, but he won't hear of it. We have a big garden behind our house. We plant green beans and all the fixins for our amazing homemade salsa!! But with a big garden it's really hard to keep it looking "pretty" (meaning NO WEEDS LOL)! But there's nothing like the taste of home grown vegetables! Thanks for sharing your garden. It is beautiful! Blessings from Missouri!


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