Preparing your soil before sowing and planting: advice and best practices

The growing medium intended to accommodate seedlings and plantations must be conducive to germination and development of the root system. In the garden, the soil is not always suitable. It is therefore very important that it be previously worked in order to possess all the required qualities. In other words, the soil must be cleaned, aerated, nourished and sanitized. If he prepares the soil of his garden well before sowing or planting, the gardener will soon see his efforts rewarded.

Floor cleaning at the end of winter

It is at the very beginning of spring that the sowing and number of plantations must be carried out. But some gardening work is necessary beforehand. The soil of the vegetable garden and flowerbeds must be carefully prepared before receiving seeds, seedlings and plants. The goal is that all the conditions are optimal to allow the germination of the seeds then the rooting and the development of the plants.

Remove winter mulch

This cleaning of the soil consists of ridding the soil of the mulch laid down at the beginning of winter because it has probably not been able to decompose completely. This allows the moisture that has accumulated to evaporate and the soil to warm up under the effect of the sun’s rays. After some time, the first sowing and planting of the year will thus be able to benefit from a dry and warm growing medium conducive to their growth.


It goes without saying that the winter was beneficial to weeds. Admittedly, the gardeners who took care to mulch the soil of the garden were able to slow down their development, but some particularly tough weeds have grown despite everything. So that future plantations do not face competition, it is absolutely necessary toto tear out the famous “weeds” by ensuring to delete too all the roots.

Note that in areas where it is not planned to sow, it may be useful to keep some local grasses with spontaneous growth which play a useful role in the garden for example if they are appreciated by pollinating insects.

Improve soil structure

The structure of garden soil changes during the winter if she remained naked because it has suffered driving rain, hail, frost, snow… In this case, it is necessary to break up the clods and aerate the soil with a spade fork. The digging depth is assessed according to the crops envisaged. For example, root vegetables and tubers like potatoes require deep work.

Sufficient but not excessive digging should be done and only if the soil is very compact or heavyin order to deconstruct it. Of course, we only intervene in dry weather when the ground is not wet. As for turning the soil in order to prepare it, it is better not to abuse it because this leads to a disturbance of the very useful micro-organisms because of their biological activity. Note that the garden soil, which remained covered throughout the off-season with mulch or crops, retained a relatively airy structure. The use of grelinette therefore suffices.

These various essential tasks for ventilate et soften soil aim to improve its structure.

Amend the garden soil

Seeds to sow and newly installed plants need nutrients without which we cannot hope to see them grow. The gardener must therefore anticipate in order to feed the soil about three weeks before sowing and planting. This consists of making a generous contribution of mature compost which must be mixed with the cultivation soil using a claw.

However, there is no need to add compost if care has been taken to sow a green manure during the fall. Four to five weeks before sowing and planting, simply mow it, let it dry for a few days and then bury it superficially into the ground with the claw.

Prevent diseases

In the event of an attack by pests or diseases, all the efforts made to prepare the soil, sow or plant can be reduced to nothing in a short time. It would therefore be a shame to run the slightest risk. Well-informed gardeners know it well: it is better to play the card of prevention by adopting natural solutions when planning to cultivate sensitive species.

Nettle decoctions and or horsetail in direct sprays are solutions that many gardeners like, in particular against damping off and others maladies cryptogamiques such as powdery mildew or rust (a term frequently used to designate various fungal diseases). The important thing is to avoid the installation of pathogenic fungi.

Working the land well upstream is also a good means of preventive control against cryptogamic diseases because loose soil is well aerated. Water and air penetrate better and the soil heats up more easily, which is essential for the seeds sown to germinate and subsequently give rise to healthy and more resistant seedlings. Let’s not forget that compact soil (therefore little or no preparation) remains excessively wet and quickly suffocates seeds and plantations. Everything must therefore be done to remedy this.

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