Fall is the perfect season to prepare your garden for SPRING! During this time of year, it’s all about cleaning up landscape while preparing for the gardening season ahead.
Other than cleaning up & preparing for the spring season, you can also grow veggies! Colder temperatures doesn’t mean you have to stop gardening completely. Remember those COLD SEASON VEGGIES you planted right before the warm season began…? Those plants can make another appearance in your garden again. Hardy plants, like kale & broccoli, thrive in colder temperatures and can even survive occasional frost! The colder season also wards off pests making a great, natural pest control for your garden. Another great plus to having a fall vegetable garden means more to harvest! Your harvest time is extended longer that has an end result of more food!
Here are few tricks to help your fall garden grow into a success:
- Rake up & remove any debris in your beds to decrease pests, diseases and weeds.
- Cut off any diseased stems on your perennials.
- Dig up & remove from your garden all of your sensitive bulbs and tubers.
- Clean up your shed and sharpen your gardening tools!
- To enrich the soil, add an inch or two of good rich compost before planting.
- Add a layer of mulch that is 3 to 4 inches thick to help buffer plants’ root systems from fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels throughout the colder seasons. (Remember to avoid piling against the stems, crowns & trunks which can cause the plant to rot.) This also helps with suppressing the growth of weeds.
- Before planting your seeds and/or transplants, make sure your soil is moist and warm.
- The key of success in your fall gardening is to prevent the plants from freezing.
- Extreme cold & damp conditions are the enemy and can cause your plants not to flourish.
- Options for protection against the cold are:
- Cold frame
- Polytunnels (also known as ‘hoop houses’)
- Row covers
- Sheets or blankets (use whenever sudden cold weather arises)
- In the fall, it’s best to plant hardy seeds (poppies) and flowering bulbs (daffodils).
- For a list of cold hardy vegetables to plant, refer to this.
- You can also plant fruits like: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, plums & pears.
In your spare time, you can plan ahead of what to add into your garden when spring comes around! Come up with a general plan of what you what and when to plant.. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you don’t leave anything out and have yourself fully prepared before spring arrives!