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Horticulture 1000
HT1021 - Practical skills - Preparation of your garden
Tools Your planting plan

Preparation of your garden

Now it's time to get on with the hard work and  prepare your garden plot for sowing seeds. Digging is important because it  breaks up soil into smaller pieces. This is called cultivation. The condition of the soil is called tilth. When the soil feels all fine and  crumbly it is called a fine tilth.

The main reasons for cultivating  the soil are to:

  • improve  drainage
  • let  air into the soil (aeration)
  • encourage  roots to grow deeply
  • control  weeds.

Steps to cultivate your garden

  1.   A square plot 3m x 3m Mark  out your plot

    Measure out your plot 3 m x 3 m  or whatever size is possible. Place a stick in each corner. The diagram shows a  square plot.

    To help you remember which is  the north side, mark the two corner pegs on the north side. You can use  something like paint, wool or string.

  2.    Remove the weeds Remove  the weeds

    Any weeds need to be removed.  Try to remove the whole plant including the roots. You may use a fork, spade or  trowel to loosen the weeds. You can then pull the whole plant out by hand.

  3. Dig your plot to 2/3 of a spade depth Dig  your plot

    Digging is when you turn over  and mix up the topsoil. You don't need to dig too deeply. Two-thirds of a spade  depth will be fine.

    As you dig over your plot, break  down any soil lumps into smaller pieces by banging them with the spade.

  4. Add  fertiliser

    Fertiliser contains nutrients  that plants need for healthy growth. A plot your size will need about 1.5 kg of  general fertiliser. That's about six large cupfuls.
    If you have general fertiliser  spread this evenly over your plot.

  6. Rake your plot Rake  your plot to a fine tilth
  7. Record completed date in your diary Record what you did in your diary when you have completed cultivating your plot.

Key points   Key points

Cultivation is breaking up soil  into smaller pieces.

Cultivation is carried out to:

  • improve  soil drainage
  • aerate  the soil
  • encourage  plant roots to grow deeply
  • control  weeds.

What's next?

Go to: 7 Your planting plan.

Tools Your planting plan