Your bedding plants with fare better if the soil is well prepared beforehand, rather than trying to 'excavate' through a crusty old soil surface with a trowel. Far better to dig the area over first.
If your bedding plants are going into a container, or hanging basket, you can skip this section and relax!
Good soil preparation is necessary to get the plants off to a good start. Most bedding plants will have a fine root system, so will appreciate any work you do to help them get established in a good crumbly soil surface.
If your garden soil is well cared for and not heavy clay, then it is simply a matter of light forking to break up the structure a little. A light raking afterwards will help to break down any lumps into a fine tilth. Stubborn lumps or heavier soils will best helped along with the use of a three prong cultivator.
If it is for summer bedding plants, then use a light dressing of general fertiliser. Growmore or Fish Blood & Bone will do the trick. Use half of the recommended dose, as too much will possibly 'scorch' the small tender roots, or make the plants grow too quickly, resulting in lush green growth with a lack of flowers. The plants when established, can be further fed with a liquid feed such as Tomato Feed. If the soil is dry once prepared, then lightly tread over the whole are to ensure a firm bed for your bedding plants.
If you are preparing ready to plant in the autumn for spring flowering bedding, then do not use Growmore or other synthetic fertilisers, Far better to use a slow acting feed like bonemeal - not fish blood and bone at this time of year.
At this point, make sure that you remove all weeds from the plot, because once the bedding plants start to grow and spread, it will be more difficult to remove weeds.