When it comes to gardening, fall is usually known for harvesting the last of the summer’s crops. While the falling leaves might encourage you to switch from a shovel to a rake, the truth is, your garden still holds plenty of potential.
In fact, fall is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for a vibrant, blossoming spring. If your garden is experiencing its first fall season, these fall gardening tips will help your plants survive the winter and thrive in the warmer months ahead.
1. Clear the Debris
There’s no denying that the fallen leaves, dead plants and weeds in your garden aren’t as beautiful as the flowers you picked out in the spring. Instead of letting these eye stores clutter your garden, you can remove them and turn them into compost to create nutrient-rich soil for next year.
Your garden may not be home to as many plants during the winter, but it can become a cozy abode for animals. Removing debris will reduce the chance of these unwanted critters moving in during the colder months.
2. Prune and Trim
Your plants may not do much growing, but they can still use a little grooming. Remove any dead or damaged branches from shrubs, trees and perennial plants. This will help your plants focus their energy on healthy growth rather than wasting it trying to save dead wood. Pruning and trimming will also help your garden look well-maintained and keep it in shape for the spring.
3. Fortify Your Soil
The end of growing season is the perfect opportunity to improve your garden’s soil. Use organic matter like compost or manure to add essential nutrients to your garden bed. This will enhance soil structure and water retention to create a strong foundation for healthy plants.
Already daydreaming about what to grow in your stronger soil? Plan ahead for the warmer months with this list of fruits and veggies that are easy to grow.
4. Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs
If you’re still looking to get your hands in the dirt, there are a few different flowers you can plant. It’s understandable if you associate spring bulbs with April and May, but fall is the perfect time to plant daffodils, tulips and crocuses. Make sure to bury your bulbs at the recommended depth, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning garden display in the spring.
5. Protect Your Perennials
Many perennials are hardy enough to withstand winter’s chill, but a little extra care can go a long way. Apply mulch around the base of perennials like hydrangeas and peonies to insulate their roots and prevent frost damage. Adding a layer of mulch will also help regulate soil temperature to keep plants from dying.
Herbs like basil and cilantro are also considered perennials, but they often won’t survive the winter temperatures. You can keep using the same culinary plants in your garden every year by bringing them indoors before the first frost. With proper care, these plants will survive in your home until spring, when you can plant them in your garden again.
6. Prepare for the First Frost
Speaking of frost, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather. If temperatures are forecasted to drop, make sure to cover your more delicate plants with bed sheets or tarp to prevent them from freezing overnight. Remove these covers when the sun comes out again so your plants won’t overheat, as they’ll get plenty of warmth from the sun alone.
7. Clean and Store Garden Tools
After a season of hard work, it’s time to give your garden tools a little love. Wash the dirt off shovels and rakes and sharpen any trimmers that may have gotten dull. Applying a little oil to wooden handles can prevent them from drying out and cracking. After you get your tools back in good condition, store them in a dry place for the winter so they won’t warp from moisture.
Still looking for the right house to plant your roots? Get in contact with one of our Home Guides and schedule an appointment today