Every season brings a drastic change to the outlook of the garden and preparing it for what comes next is very important. The changes that happen before every next season are significantly different and they all demand individual approach and have certain specifics that need to be covered. Since fall is the season that brings drastic changes to plants and trees, preparing the garden for those changes is a task that needs to be seriously addressed from the first cold breeze announcing it. Here is how to prepare your garden for the upcoming fall season.
Thoroughly clean it
Preparing the garden for the fall takes several steps. The initial one, that prepares the garden for all others that follow, is a thorough clean up. Remove all crop debris and residue and make sure no non organic matter is left scattered around. If you have any annual plants, remove them from the ground and leave the soil as clean as possible. Only a perfectly clean garden is suitable for the actions that follow.
Check the pH of the soil
This is something that the majority of garden owners find to be out of their level of expertise and therefore never do it. It is not rocket science, and it does not take a fortune to complete, especially if you consider the importance of the data that will be revealed. There are a lot of affordable, but precise enough electronic testers or pH kits that can be found in almost every plant nursery, or online. The results you obtain will direct the necessary pH adjustments. The pH levels suitable for different plants may vary significantly, but there is an optimal range that meets the requirements of most of them. If the pH level is below 6 add lime to your soil. On the other hand, if it is above 7.5 add elemental sulfur. These additions will secure the optimal pH level and the soil will be ready for spring.
Fall is the perfect time to add organic matter and prepare the ground and plant roots for the harsh winter conditions that are about to come. Adding up to two inches of compost or manure will guarantee that the soil is resupplied for the next planting season. Practically any manure or compost will do but be careful about one thing. Make sure that they are not full of grass seed or any other weed. There will be a lot of work when spring comes, because getting rid of unwanted weed is very time-consuming.
Turn off the water
It doesn’t matter if you use a watering hose or one of those sophisticated automatic watering systems, early fall is the time to plan disassembling it to avoid frost damage. If you live in a warmer area disconnecting the system from a hose spigot and allowing the water to drain on its own would probably suffice. On the other hand, colder climate areas will require using air compressors to fully drain the water out of the system to prevent it from being damaged by the frost. Or you can simply bring it inside the shed early enough, and let it dry on its own there before really cold days come.
Let some of the plants linger
There are certain types of plants that provide more benefit if left in the ground than if they are taken out. For example, cabbage, broccoli and kale, as well as other members of the brassica family if left in the ground through fall and winter will release cyanide compound that are highly efficient against wireworms. On the other hand, you can use the fairly empty ground and plant garlic since pre-fall period is perfect for it. If you need any kind of advice on the matter, or need help in doing it, by all means contact gardening services and resolve any of the issues that may be puzzling you.
Preparing a garden for winter is a challenging task that requires some time and money investments. On the other hand, if you wish your garden to be in full bloom the next spring, all the effort you made to preserve it during the cold months will pay off.