Start by raking out any loose surface debris like dry leaves and removing dead or fallen plant material (leave woody stalks on evergreens or hydrangea). Turn the soil to allow air and moisture to reach the roots. It’s ok to turn wet, decaying leaves or mulch right into the soil. If you haven’t fertilized your beds in the last couple of years, we recommend amending the soil by turning in some organic fertilizer, especially for vegetable gardens. Your local garden center or garden supply store will offer a ready compost material that can be purchased by the truckload.
After preparing your beds, give them a fresh edging for a neat look and to keep grass out and mulch in. Top with fresh mulch as needed for a 2″-3″ layer that will protect roots from harsh summer sun and the following winter snow.