At this time of year we can spend hours in our garden, weeding, cultivating and simply trying to improve the condition of our grass, plants, flowers and vegetables.
Success in the garden can often come down to the quality of the soil, which may not be as good as you think. Taking some time to concentrate on your soil before you plant or before the spring growing season will certainly help to improve the quality of what you grow and also help with drainage during the winter rain.
Before you add anything to improve the quality of your soil, it is important to prepare it. Dig it through with a fork, breaking up any lumps and removing any weeds or debris that may be deeply embedded.
Whether it’s compost that you have made yourself, or a variety that you have picked up from the garden centre, apply it evenly over your soil and take some time to dig it in. It is fine to use whatever compost you can afford, but organic is usually best when it comes to being beneficial for your garden.
Give the soil a rake over, as this will remove any rogue weed seeds and also enable you to remove any stones that you may have missed earlier. You will be left with a level surface that is perfect for planting.
To finish, add a soil improver or organic fertiliser that will add nutrients and make the ground more hospitable for plants and flowers. Simply work it into your readily raked soil according to any specific instructions and you're almost ready to start planting!
Walking over it with your welly boots will enable you to firm the soil. This will help you to see if there are any big lumps left that need breaking up.