Winter is just around the corner, and I know the thought of abandoning your garden might creep in. But hey, this is actually the ideal time to carry out some indispensable fall garden maintenance.
Use the drop in temperature and the fact that there will be fewer insects to your favor and do some fall gardening. Putting the garden to sleep is far easier than awakening it in the spring.
The following tips should be adopted in the fall to ensure that your garden is better than ever in the spring.
Test the Soil and Enrich the Garden Bed
According to directoryflower.com, the best season of the year to carry out a soil test is in the Fall. A soil test will help you determine the PH level of your soil. And if need be, you can add the right quantity of lime to keep it in check.
This is also the best time to fertilize your garden beds with compost or organic manure. Ensure you spread an even layer of compost or manure on the surface of the soil. That’s all you need to really do. The freeze and thaw process throughout the winter in conjunction with help from the earthworms will naturally integrate it into the soil.
Note: To further enhance the quality of your soil during winter, collect and shred fallen leaves, spread them over the garden and allow them to decompose during those cold winter months – they will break down to form a combination of nitrogen and carbon that will improve the fertility of the soil.
To test your soil, visit this resource: http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C896
Collect and Dispose of Weeds
Fall is the ideal time to take out the dying or dead plants, clean up any debris and be sure to take out the weeds.
Basically, use this period to get rid of any unwanted element in your garden. However, do not mistake your deciduous plants for weeds as they will lose leaves or die back.
Putting the Garden to Bed
Putting the garden to bed is a phrase that basically means cleaning and tidying up the garden, putting away all the tools and items that you wouldn’t need till spring, and ensuring that everything is well prepared for when you require it.
To ensure that you won’t have a lot on your hands in spring, try to rid your garden of pests and diseases and clean out the debris. Here's more advice for first time gardeners.
For warmer climates; ensure that you shelter or move young plants to safer locations; anticipate sudden fluctuations in temperature and remember to protect tender plants from drying winds. Visit here for more on climate change and how it affects your garden.
Fall Preparations Bring Spring Benefits
Dedicating time during the fall to ensure that your garden is well prepared for the winter season is basically the deciding factor that ensures that your garden is beautiful in the spring. While this list may not be very lengthy, rest assured that it touches all the key points for your fall garden work.
One Final Note: Ensure that you do not cut back all the dying or dead stalks in your garden. Leave behind a few sunflowers and other plants that have seeds and berries. They will cater to the appetites of birds throughout winter. In most cases it is better to leave plants that are native to your region behind, local wildlife will most likely feast on them.