I am in Mississauga. This is my current flower bed. It was full of thistle weed and some creepers which i manually dug out. I think my soil is a mess with roots, leaves,stones and mulch so how do i prep is for new flowers? Do i need to sift the whole soil?
I do plan on using triple mix soil for my flowers so just using that in localized areas where i dig for flower planting is enough?
Soil is made up of many parts – sand, silt and clay are the different types of particles. But along with these particles are organic matter (old roots, leaves & garden debris) and pores (air spaces). The different soil components (which include stones & pebbles) are various shapes and fit together differently. Between all the various elements are small and large pores which are like pockets that house insects, worms, bacteria and fungi which all work together to make nutrients, water and oxygen available to plant roots. As soon as you start digging, this vital ecosystem is destroyed. The small pores collapse and soil starts to become compacted making for a very difficult and less nutritious environment for plant roots.
That being said, turning over soil to dig out large and invasive weed roots may be appropriate in your situation but the most efficient way of improving your soil from here on in, is to amend on top of what you have already done. This will allow the community of vital soil organisms, that are still there, to bring the nutrients to where they need to be for your new plantings. Do not go digging through the garden again and there is absolutely no need to sift the soil. Try to remember that soil is a living thing and the less you damage it, the better.
To get your garden ready, gently rake out the area you have dug to form a flatter area, mark out your garden beds and then bring in your triple mix to be spread on top (do not dig it in). You may also want to consider spreading a layer of good quality compost too. Then you can plant the beds you want and seed/sod a lawn if that is in the plan. Once you have planted your flower beds, adding a layer of mulch on top will help with moisture retention and weed suppression.
The following link explains soil structure, see below.
The following link explains a technique called “no till” gardening – this example is for a vegetable garden but it can be adapted to create a flower bed, take a look below.