Fall is here in full swing, and a gardener can finally spend time catching their breath after a busy Summer season of gardening. But don’t put away your rake and hoe just yet; it is important to properly prepare your garden for Winter. This will not only improve soil quality but also make for a much less laborious Spring planting season. Below are 4 things to do now that will save you time and help you kick start your garden for Spring.
- Clean out weeds. Do not let them overwinter in your garden; the weed seeds hide in the soil, and it only takes a little spring sunshine for them to come back strong. Spend the time taking as much of the weeds out as you can, this will prevent weeds from sneaking up on you in the Spring.
- Add organic matter now. Fall leaves and compost are excellent organic matter. Apply generous amounts of both to your raised beds or garden, this will protect your soil from Winter erosion and add the nutrients your garden will need in the spring. Cow and Steer manure are also great to gently work into the soil.
- Map your Garden. Over the Winter it is important to spend some time thinking about your Spring garden plan. Do you plan to expand? Remember to try and rotate veggie crops each season if space permits. This will reduce the likelihood of pests/diseases that may be in the soil. Sketching out your garden plan will make it much easier to plan and prepare for the upcoming season.
- Start creating your garden starters plant list. While Winter offers a break from the physical aspect of gardening, it is a great time to decide what vegetables and flowers you plan to grow for the next season. For some great plant ideas, check out our garden starters plant list here.