The summer is a busy time for both professional growers and amateur gardeners; if it’s a successful season, you have likely been busy picking your harvest and preserving it for months to come. Fall is no time to rest either, as preparing the garden for the next planting season can make all the difference between a successful or failed harvest next year. Preparing your garden now can save you substantial effort from having to work with soil that is cold and potentially still frozen over come springtime. Dr. Willard’s shares four of our true and tried fall gardening tips with you in this article.
Clean the Beds
The first step in this process involves removing all the rotten, diseased and dead fruits and vegetables and their remains from the garden. Depending on the size of your garden, this can seem overwhelming, but a systematic approach where you focus on one area at a time can help you in this task. Remove any plants that show signs of blight, mold or mildew and either burn them or throw them in the garbage.
Don’t just concentrate on what you see above the ground, dig out roots, concentrating on weeds, such as nutsedge and Bermudagrass. If this is not done, weeds may be able to weather harsh winters to infest your spring garden.
Create a compost pile to add organic matter to your soil absolutely free. The benefit of doing this in the fall is that they will have enough time to “marry” with the soil and become biologically active, which is often not possible if you add compost right before planting in the spring. Some gardeners falsely believe that any plant remains can be added to the compost pile, but it’s more than likely that any disease will spread and affect your upcoming harvest. However, feel free to add healthy remains to the compost.
Another great way to clean and compost is to gather fallen tree leaves and add them to the pile. A compost pile needs nitrogen in the form of green materials, as well as carbon, brown elements, such as dead leaves, to thrive.
Add healthy foliage and kitchen scraps evenly over the soil, adding manure if you need to cover a larger area, and add bone meal and/ or rock phosphate to boost the soil’s fertility. Bone meal provides nitrogen, while rock phosphate offers phosphorus, both of which help your soil.
You can purchase a complete organic fertilizer, which has both of these items, to make this task easier. However, to save money on fertilizers, make sure to stock up on Dr. Willard’s® PlantCatalyst®, which will allow you to cut down on fertilizer use by up to 50 percent! In addition, our signature product is made with all natural ingredients and no harmful toxic ingredients, something that is very difficult to find in any agricultural product on the market!
Till the Soil
Break up the soil by tilling it so that organic matter and oxygen can get to the deepest layers. Tilling also lets you discover weeds and roots that can be growing deep down in the earth, as well as to find insect homes and other pests that can threaten the health of your garden.
Click here to learn more about PlantCatalyst®, and its ability to promote yield while shortening growth times for a bountiful harvest next year!