7 Simple Tasks to Begin Your Fall Garden Prep

7 Simple Tasks to Begin Your Fall Garden Prep

Have you been gardening this summer? As you marvel at all your beautiful flowers and plants, you may feel a certain sense of pride over what you accomplished in the past few months. While your summer garden could be all lush and green right now, it's never too early to start planning for next season. You won't have to disrupt your summer garden to begin your fall garden prep.

Late summer is a good place to start your planning, since there's still plenty of time to identify plants that you are interested in growing. Fall is a season that comes with cooler, milder temperatures. This is the best season to plant those low-maintenance crops you’ve been yearning for.

Transitioning your garden from summer to fall can be done seamlessly, but it will require some careful strategizing and advanced planning. Below are seven simple tasks that you should perform to begin your fall garden prep:

1. Pick the right plants for the fall season.

Pick the right plants for the fall season.

A huge part of your fall garden prep will involve deciding the types of plants that you want to grow. It's important to identify the plants that are suitable for your climate, your soil type, and your geographical area. You should also go for plants that are disease-resistant and have high-quality yields.

Some popular fall plants include goldenrods, chrysanthemums and pansies, which thrive well in the cooler climate. To make your garden look more interesting, experiment with one or two new plant varieties every year. Plant them next to your old favourites for easier comparison.

2. Choose plants that could extend to winter.

Choose plants that could extend to winter.

Fall weather duration can vary from location to location. It can also be challenging to predict when frost is likely to hit. In some areas, it can show up as early as October. In other places, it may not arrive as late as December. When picking flowers, always be mindful of whether these plants can survive through an early frost.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to keep your fall garden healthy and productive throughout winter. The key is to pick flowers that can grow in the winter season. Some of these winter flowers include snowdrops and pansies, which can survive even in the colder temperatures.

3. Establish the fall garden space.

Establish the fall garden space.

Identify how much space you have for a fall garden. At this stage, you should make up your mind about what plants you intend to plant. It might be helpful to sketch your garden on paper. Once you are sure of how much space you have for your fall garden, go ahead and buy whatever seeds you need.

One strategy is to group the warm season plants and the cool season plants in different sections of your garden. This way, you don’t have to rip out the summer plants just to make room for your fall garden.

4. Remove the old & decayed plants.

Remove the old & decayed plants.

If a crop or flower has matured and seeded, harvest the seeds, cut the plants, and then use them as mulch. Instead of pulling such crops out, cut them. Their roots will decay and become fodder for the soil. In some cases, the seeds will fall into the bed by themselves. Let them grow naturally.

Should you notice any plant in your garden that is infested, remove and burn it. Avoid throwing it into your compost bin, since this would just create a conducive environment in which they can thrive.

5. Clear out the weeds in your garden.

Clear out the weeds in your garden.

Clearing weeds is a critical task for your fall garden prep and maintenance. However, some types of weeds might prove to be helpful for the soil. Lay these beneficial weeds underneath the mulch or on top of the soil. The weeds will gradually decompose and become the fertilizer for the next crops.

In addition to clearing out the weeds, you should also make sure your garden is free of pests before the fall season arrives. Nothing ruins the appeal of a fall garden more than a few leftover weeds from the previous season.

6. Amend the soil.

Amending the soil before planting is critical. To improve soil fertility, add organic matter into the ground. Doing this will also feed helpful soil microbes that make plants grow healthy and strong. The best time to amend the soil is at least two weeks before planting. This allows the ground to assimilate essential nutrients. If you don’t have two weeks to spare, go ahead and plant anyway.

7. Plant the seeds.

Plant the seeds.

Now that your fall garden is ready and the soil has assimilated essential nutrients, it’s time to plant. You can either do this by transplanting the plants or sowing the seeds. Once the transplants and the seeds are in the ground, water them throughout the fall to keep the soil moist. Don’t let the cold weather deceive you into thinking your garden does not need to be watered.

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