Fall is a time for gardeners to get busy and prepare for winter’s rest. As we trade in our summer cotton with wooly jackets and lemonades are replaced with warm chocolate, it’s time to put on the work.
Autumn gardening may be tricky at times. However, it yields benefits that will immensely help your crops. Here are tips for gardening in the fall.
Harvest, harvest, harvest
First things first: Make room for your autumn crops. Harvest what is left of your spring and summer planting to properly manage space and companion planting. From there, you can focus on what you want to grow for this season.
Know what to plant
Two of the most favored crops for fall are root vegetables and greens. Here’s a list of what is best to plant during this season:
- Winter radishes
Choose the cream of the crop
Gardening in the fall not only means knowing what to plant. It also means going for the healthiest bunch. Fall going on winter can be harsh to a lot of crops. That’s why it’s essential to know what you’re looking for. For starters, go for those with healthy foliage and crops that aren’t rootbound.
Prepare your soil
Skip Richter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture agent and gardening expert explains that soil is integral to fall gardening. “By the time you put your first plant in the ground, you’re already 75% of the way toward success or failure,” he said, “because you’ve either prepared a good-quality soil or you haven’t.”
It’s most likely that your soil has taken a beating from the previous season, and would need a little more TLC than usual. One of the easiest ways to prepare it for autumn is to amend it with compost. It encourages soil to keep more water and promotes better drainage for clay soil. Another way to ensure your soil is ready is to utilize raised beds.
Compost is pivotal to gardening, especially when planting in the fall. Part of it is introducing sustainability to your garden by making use of all the fallen leaves in your yard. Instead of just hauling them away, add them to your compost pile. You can insulate to protect it from the cold by creating a thick layer of leaves.
Other ways to use more earth friendly fall gardening practices is to have the right tools. For one, landscape fabrics work wonders for all seasons. It also discourages pesticides and chemicals to let you focus on natural and responsible gardening.
When you garden in the fall, it also helps to look forward to spring. Plant blooming bulbs to fill those blank spots in your perennial areas, or even along pathways. Daffodils and hyacinth are a good start.
Fall gardening is an incredibly rewarding activity. Keep these tips in mind so you can maximize your garden and have the best season it can have.