UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Monthly Tip

Should You Prep Soil for Planting?

Tip description

Soil-for-planting, Photo credit: Karen Schaffer
It’s tempting to grab a shovel and turn over all the soil in your garden as you prepare for summer planting. But should you? Increasingly, science is saying “no.” Every time you dig into the soil, you’re disturbing a very intricate, living web of organisms, bacteria, and fungi that your plants need to thrive. In contrast, a “No-Till” approach minimizes soil disturbances and keeps organic material like leaves, compost and coarsely chopped plants on the ground’s surface to slowly decompose. By keeping it moist and protected from beating sun and pounding rain, this organic material allows the soil to stay crumbly and ideal for planting.

More information: No-Till for Home Gardeners

Months applicable
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • October
  • November
  • 1. To-do

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