A little planning and prepping during the fall can really improve your spring season. Autumn is the time to get ready and manage the soils, prepare sod, clean up your raised beds, and minimize the problems in the new growing season. It’s also the time to plant bulbs that bloom in spring and pull out tender summer bloomers. Fall garden preparation is key, and one of those maintenance tasks that will help you guarantee a beautiful garden during the following season. Follow these fall garden tips for a worry-free winter and to have more free time in spring.
Fall Garden Maintenance
Preparation of your garden before winter will enhances its appearance and ensures that tender plants get the care they need to protect them before cold weather days.
Planting New Plants
You should also use this time to plant spring bulbs and cool season plants to fill in gaps in the landscape and brighten up the end of season garden. Some autumn garden ideas that will add color to your landscape are:
After the fall garden maintenance is finished, it’s the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. They will get adequate moisture and a resting period to reduce the possibility of transplant shock.
Many gardeners think that the arrival of autumn puts an end to gardening. It’s surprising what plants you can grow before the first freeze or even after in some climates. By using row covers, mulch and cold frames you can extend your harvest. You can plant most of the plants in the Brassica family, such as broccoli and cabbage. In mild climates, you can start garlic. Radish, lettuces and some root crops are also good fall gardening options. Cover your crops if snow or an extended freeze is expected.
Clean Up Old and Unwanted Growth
The end of the season is the perfect time to remove your dead vegetable plants, clean up debris and unwanted weeds, and winterize your garden furniture and water features. Some easy garden ideas for autumn include raking the leaves onto the lawn and mowing them with a lawn-mower. The resulting mix of carbon and nitrogen makes the perfect mulch for the vegetable garden, which will increase the fertility in spring and help prevent weeds.
You can use this time to get rid of nuisance plants. Since many of your plants will die back and lose leaves, it is a good time to use a foliar herbicide on those problem plants like morning glory.
Put the Garden to Bed
Dig the soil and bring in any bulbs or tubers that are sensitive to the cold. This will depend on your hardiness zone, but anywhere there is an extended freeze, sensitive plants should be brought indoors.
Removing plant debris and raking the soil will decrease pest, disease and unwanted seeds that can overwinter. Empty the compost bins and start a new one. Spread the compost around the base of the most sensitive plants, the extra layer will act as protection. You can also plant a cover crop on your garden.