You’re probably now enjoying your harvest from the last summer harvest. It’s a great time to take a break as you await the next planting season.
Well, you don’t want to make one BIG mistake. Neglecting your garden!
Fall is the perfect time to prepare your garden for the next planting season. You want to reduce the amount of work awaiting you in spring. So, how do you go about preparing your garden for the next growing season?
Getting your garden ready means taking steps that will make it easier to plant in spring. Below are some steps you can take to prepare your garden.
Clean and remove diseased plants
It’s a perfect time to remove odd and dead plants that are diseased. Well, one might argue that dead plants rot and add nutrients to the soil. That’s not the case when the plants are diseased.
You want to make your garden disease-free before the next planting season. Were there signs of diseases on your plants when harvesting? If yes, then now is the right time to act.
Fallen leaves and debris can also harbor pests which lay eggs. It’s always good to get rid of dead leaves, plants and debris suspected to carry diseases.
Only leave plants free of diseases to protect your land against erosion.
Remove invasive weeds
With all diseases infected dead plants removed, try and clear out weeds. Dig the weeds out and smother them under the garden cloth. What were the stubborn weeds from the previous harvest?
Recall the stubborn Himalayan blackberry? Dig it up all the way from the roots. This is the best time to dig out weeds and prevent them from growing back during the summer.
Don’t place them in the compost. Most weeds remain viable even in the compost and sprout back when you use the compost manure. Put them in a trash can or smother them underneath tarps.
Get the soil tested and the right fertilizer
As you wait for the growing season, this is the best time to do a soil test. What fertilizers are you going to buy? You can only tell this by doing a simple soil test.
Soil test results reveal the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium present in the soil. This then guides you on the right type of fertilizer and quantities to add to the soil. If you don’t have a soil test, a balanced formula like 13-13-13 fertilizer is a good choice for an initial fertilizer of the year.
Soil testing is important and can give insights into the properties of soil and the best crops or vegetables to plant.
In addition, you need to check the soil pH and adjust accordingly. Of course, everything comes down to what you’ll be planting. You can add manure, bone meal and compost to your soil.
This is the best time to add nutrients to the soil and have them break down in readiness for the growing season.
Apart from nutrient composition, soil testing also reveals the soil structure, drainage and presence of earthworms.
Order seeds early
Spring might be way too far. But you need to order the seeds early and prepare them early enough for germination. Buying seeds early is quite important. January is one of the busiest months for seed distributors.
You might want to order early and make sure you’re ready for the planting season.
Plant cover crops
You can also consider planting cover crops in preparation for the growing season. In most cases, early summer is the best time to plant cover crops. The general guideline is to plant cover crops a month before the first killing frost.
Cover crops help prevent soil erosion while also increasing organic matter in the soil. They also add nutrients and carbon to the soil. Garden vegetables can benefit from gardens with legumes. This is because legumes increase nitrogen levels in the soil
Harvest and regenerate compost
This is a great time to harvest and regenerate new compost. The heat in the summer is over, and one might think it’s not the right time to compost. However, winter microbes are ready to kick in.
It’s a great time to use composted materials over the summer in your gardens. Use the materials to top the garden bedding. The autumn leaves you collected from your garden can be used to regenerate new compost.
New leaves will get the microbes working for longer. You can also use sawdust, straw, and active green matter to speed up the composting process.
Preparing your garden for the next growing season is quite important. For the best results, you need the garden ready for the planting season. Ensure there are no weeds and all diseased, dead plants are cleared. You also need the soil tested to ensure necessary nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are present.
Keep composting and ensure the garden is ready for the planting season. You’ll be reducing your work during the planting season and ensuring you have the best results.