There are many things to do in the garden in anticipation of the first frost. Once the harvest has been collected, it is tempting to just close the gate and relax until spring. However, if you want your spring work to be less laborious, it is worth taking the preparatory steps described below.
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1. Get Rid of the Rot
Not only do withered plants spoil the look of your garden, but they could also transform into sources source of pests, disease, and fungus if left unattended. This dead matter may contain eggs laid by unwanted insects over the summer. Bury such plants, so they become useful organic fertilizer.
2. Do Away With Weeds
Unwanted plants that may have appeared over the summer must be eliminated. Whether it is Himalayan blackberry or bindweed, throw the weeds into the trash. Relocating them to another part of the garden is a big mistake: these plants may remain viable even in a compost heap.
3. Prepare the Soil
Do not wait for spring to enrich your soil with nutrients. Rock phosphate, bone meal, manure, and compost are best added before the first frost. This will allow sufficient time for the compounds to break down and become active. Besides, you will be able to resume working the soil in the spring even before it dries out. Tilling will ensure better drainage.
Once the soil has been enriched, cover it with sheet plastic or another material. This will shield the bed from rain that will otherwise wash the nutrients deep down.
4. Cover Crops
In your area, fall could be a suitable time for sowing rye, clover, or other cover crops. This slows down erosion in the beds and boosts the content of organic matter. Such plants bring nutrients, for instance, legumes raise the amount of nitrogen, which is favorable for vegetables. Picking the best cover crop could be tricky due to the differences in hardiness. Request advice from your seed provider.
5. Prepare Compost
Do not neglect your compost heap in the fall. Instead, use the rich material generated over the growing season. Fertilize your beds, lawns, and soils. This way, plants will develop more vigorously next year.
On the other hand, putting old compost to good use will also clean space for a new batch. Let the microbes do their work in winter. Erect another heap using fallen leaves, straw, and kitchen leftovers.
6. Assess Season Results
How successful was your growing season? Did the plants you pick perform well? Conduct an evaluation to identify under-performers and find ways to ensure a better harvest. Add new varieties and consider getting new garden tools, like the ones reviewed by jonsguide.org. Success in gardening relies upon careful selection of plants and suitable tools.
7. Prepare Mulch
Prevent your soil from eroding and reduce the loss of water by mulching. This will also keep weeds at bay. make sure the layer is thick enough to protect the roots from the adverse effects of frosts and thawing.
The better you get ready in the fall, the less effort will be required in the spring.