preparing a garden bed part 2

Here’s the next step following part one of preparing your own little plot of joy in the yard. 

After cutting the sod off of the bed site, you’re going to have to do some things to improve your soil for growing (unless, of course, you live in a place where your topsoil is already amazing…  which makes me miss my Wisconsin home…)

So it’s time for step 2:  amending and tilling the soil

This bed is about 15′ by 3′ (45 sq.ft.) and added to this bed is a mix of compost and soil.  There is a total about 4 cubic feet of each here.  The addition “lifted” the level of the soil by about an inch and is important for improving drainage and percolation, as well as tilth and will be a key to your success in growing food. 

In addition, I added about 1.5 lbs of all purpose organic fertilizer ( the most widely available of which is a product called Garden Tone ) to supply some necessary nutrients based on the soil test.  

Our soil was less acidic than would be expected in much of our area, so I did not have to add lime to bring up the pH.  You should plan accordingly.


I used a long handle hand cultivator and a stand up steel garden tiller to mix in the amendments.  I try to mix the soil and amendments in well to 4″-6″ deep.

The final leveling process was done with a regular garden rake.

Here is the finished bed after mixing and tilling: 



The bed is now ready for planting from seed or transplants.   Check out part 3 for more specifics.

Filter By Category

About Mark

I am a busy guy; husband, father, coach, mentor, gardener, outdoors man and cook are the primary hats I wear. To be the best of these I can be, I stay physically prepared for all those pursuits, and feed myself in a way that allows me to keep up the pace. I can help you to take the next manageable step in fitness and wellness to get you closer to your ideal self.