Fall is upon us and harvest season is here, which sadly means that our gardens are dormant until next spring for most of us in the United States. But that doesn’t mean we have to be dormant all winter long!
As we gardeners know, there’s much more to having a garden than growing plants. There are tons of chores and things you can do to your garden in the fall and winter that your garden will thank you for in the spring.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you can do now to prepare your garden for spring 2022 properly.
Clear Out The Old Plants
The best place to start when preparing your garden for a new growing season is with the remnants of the old growing season.
Clearing out the old and dead plants from your garden will not only make your garden look tidier but will also help aerate your soil to give your future plants a better shot at absorbing essential nutrients.
For bonus nutrients, you can even add the old plants to your compost pile so that they can decompose and be ready to use to fertilize your soil come spring. Fall and winter are the perfect time to start one if you don’t already have a compost pile.
Uprooting and disposing of old plants will also give you a blank slate to start designing next year’s garden layout.
Apply Pesticide And Herbicide
If you use a pre-emergent herbicide as many gardeners do, you should apply it twice a year: once in the spring and then again in the fall. After clearing out your garden, apply your herbicide and water it in so that you can help avoid any pesky weed growth come spring.
Many pests hibernate in the cold months, so now is the perfect time to get rid of them. If you’ve been having trouble with bugs eating away at your garden, apply a pesticide to your garden area after you’ve cleared out your old plants. Doing this will help ensure that the bugs don’t come back when the ground starts warming up.
Prep Your Soil
In the cold months, your soil tends to get hard and compacted. Not only can this make it harder to plant in the spring, but it can deprive your garden of precious nutrients.
After you’ve cleared your garden, you should till your soil again to loosen it up. Doing this will help make room for any worms and microorganisms to come in and help aerate your soil to boost the nutrient content.
If you usually add compost or fertilizer to your soil in the spring, you should also do so now in the fall. Adding fertilizers now in the colder months will give your garden an extra nutrient boost in the spring, which can help increase plant size, bloom quality, and fruition.
Now is also an excellent time to check your soil’s pH levels. If your soil is too basic or acidic, it could hinder your garden’s growth without you even noticing it. Checking the pH now and adding a pH treatment can make all the difference in your garden quality come spring.
Build And Prepare Any New Additions
Are you thinking of adding a new raised bed or greenhouse? If you do so in the fall and winter, you’ll be able to put your new additions to use in the spring. Building new additions will also give the soil and soil conditions time to acclimate in preparation for the spring season.
Organize Your Shed
Now that you’re not constantly using your gardening tools for the season, you can take this time to sharpen any dull tools, replace any broken tools, and organize your garden shed.
Now is also a great time to replenish your stocks of fertilizers, seeds, and other plant necessities. Having an organized shed will help you know right where everything is in the spring when you’re reading to start all over again.
Plant the Early Bloomers
Some plants can survive the cold, while others take a very long time to germinate. If you’re planning to do a winter garden or want an early-blooming begonia in the spring, fall and winter are the perfect time to sow those seeds.