Summer is over and you will have to start preparing your garden for the cold weather. Cool temperatures don’t mean the end of harvesting—lots of plants thrive in the fall season. You can also take steps to ensure that you have some fertile ground for the next planting season. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your garden in the coming fall and help it survive the cold winter.
Preparing For Autumn
Avoid composting pepper and tomato plants. They might still carry diseases and you don’t want it being passed into the soil. Also avoid composting damaged fruit seeds still on plants. What you should compost are chopped leaves and any other well-degraded organic material you have kept. In addition, the leaves can help prevent the soil from eroding. Use all the compost you have from the previous year (provided it’s safe) before you use new compost.
Get rid of weeds as soon as you can. If you leave them they will dig deeper roots and be even harder to remove next year.
Sweep out Your Garden
It’s important to clean your garden of debris. First remove the plants, then tackle any fallen leaves or branches and then disinfect. This keeps your garden free of disease.
Plant Cover Crops
Cover crops (also known as green manure) are plants that can actually preserve your garden until you are ready to plant. They control weeds, pests and diseases, as well as enriching the soil. They are easy to plant and require little care, but be sure to water them in times of draught and get rid of them before they become difficult to remove.
Plant Fall Vegetables
You can plant vegetables that thrive in cool temperatures and have a short growing season. There is a wide variety: beets, lettuce, broccoli … the list goes on. Pick the ones you prefer to eat.
Evergreens make your garden look good year-round and give you something more than just snow. Sarcococca and Daphne are a couple plants you can look at—especially if you want flowers in the winter.
If you have a pond, then make sure to cover it up from falling leaves. Neglecting this can turn your pond into a swamp, not to mention the work it takes to clean it up. Mesh and bricks are all you need to have the perfect covering.
Preparing For Winter
Winter can help or hurt your garden. The snow acts an insulator for the soil, much like mulch. On the other hand, if too much slow piles on evergreen branches then breakage occurs. Remove snow from the lower branches and let the snow piled on the upper ones melt.
Trim perennials to soil-level after frost. This helps to remove pest eggs and disease. Don’t forget the compost. It acts as a valuable soil conditioner to kill pathogens and weed seeds. Also, prune diseased foliage from plants and make sure they are gathered and discarded.
If you’ve got young trees, protect the bark by surrounding them with wire or use commercial guard products. For evergreen trees use burlap screens to protect from the dry winter wind and sun.
Roses can be an especially complex job—how much you prepare depends on the severity of the winter. The first thing you need to do is to remove all mulch from beneath the roses, then spread fresh mulch around the base. To prevent rodents from nesting in the mulch, wait until the ground freezes to spread the mulch. Give the rose plenty of water. Pick roses that can survive the winter such as Chicago Peach or Double Delight.
Preserve Your Tools
When not in use, put away your garden tools in a safe place. This fall is the best time to carry out repairs and replace tools if necessary. If your shed is not secure, do some repairs and consider upgrading the security around it—this could include stronger locks or even an alarm system.
Preparing for the fall and winter is just as important as planting and harvesting. The more you prepare in the fall and winter, the better your harvest will be next year. Clear away all diseased shrubs and branches and use organic compost to get rich soil for next year. Plant the right crops that will last through the cool temperatures and harvest them at the right time. It’s good to get advice from a garden supplier about new tools and methods for gardening. For more information, visit our website and take a look at our product catalogue or send us a message. The best thing to do is to come in for a visit and talk to one of our staff.