With Fall in full swing and the annual slowing of activity in the garden, it is tempting to let nature take its course in your garden. After all, you have done the numerous spring chores and reaped summer’s benefits. So, what else is needed now that fall is here?
If you would like to lessen the amount of work for next year’s spring, look over some of these suggestions to closing your garden for the winter.
Clean up rotting and spent plants
Besides looking disorderly, old plants can conceal disease, pests, and funguses. Unwanted insects feeding on your crops and may lay eggs on the plant’s stalks and leaves. Removing spent plants from the soil surface or burying them in garden trenches (if they are disease-free) prevents pests from getting a head start come springtime. Burying old plants, if they are disease free, adds organic matter to your soil and overall health.
Remove invasive weeds
Most invasive weeds remain viable in a weed pile, do not simply shift them to another part of your garden. Removing invasive plants completely is the only way to prevent those plants from appearing again.
Prepare soil for spring
Fall is a great time to add soil amendments like manure, compost, bone meal, kelp, and rock phosphate. Amending, turning, or digging soil now means you will have done some of the work usually performed in the spring.
Divide and plant bulbs
Although spring bulbs have long since flowered and died back, other flowering bulbs like lilies bloomed more recently. It is time to dig up and divide any plants that appeared crowded or straggly during the growing season about three or four weeks after their display. Dig 4-8 inches away from the plant’s growing stalk, carefully loosening the soil. Lift bulbs gently and separate bulblets for immediate transplanting elsewhere in the garden.
If you previously dug up your spring bulbs for dividing, now is the time to plant them again for another year’s display.
Mulching in winter the same benefits as summer mulching. These include reducing water loss, protecting the soil from erosion, and inhibiting weeds. But winter mulching has other benefits as well. A thick layer of mulch to the soil surface helps regulate soil temperatures and moisture and ease the transition into winter. And as the mulch breaks down it incorporates fresh organic material into the soil.
Clean and sharpen tools
Fall is a great time to restore the lifespan of your tools. Start by washing tools to remove dirt and debris. Remove any rust with sandpaper or wire brush. Sharpen hoes, shovels, and pruners. Finally, rub the surfaces of the tools with a rag coated in light machine oil. This helps seal the metal from oxygen and extend the life of your tools.
A few other chores
Move pots and containers to sheltered areas, and if temperatures are regularly below freezing in your location, make sure they are raised off the ground and wrapped in bubble polythene or sacking to prevent terracotta pots from cracking. Frost-sensitive plants can be put in a cold frame or glasshouse, where they will stay until spring.
Wherever you are located, there are steps you can take to prepare for next year’s gardening season. Done now, these steps will not only help your spring and summer tasks easier, but they can also improve the garden’s abundance.
As the seasons change, having a garden means it is time to do extra chores to keep the garden at its best. Whether it is cleaning up for the spring season or getting ready for winter, the work never seems to end. Homescape Now will perform these seasonal cleanup services and remove all of the debris, so you can enjoy your clean and tidy yard and garden.
Have more specific questions about winterizing your garden? Homescape Now can help. We are a professional landscaping company serving the San Francisco Bay Area. We specialize in taking care of the environment while taking care of your yard. Contact us today to how much of a difference expert help can make in your garden.