Preparing Your Garden Soil Now for Next Spring

woman and child in garden
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Freshen up the garden

After harvesting all of your fresh delicious vegetables and sharing them with kind friends and family, it is time to start all over again. It was always a tradition in my family to get the soil ready in the fall, so my grandmother and I would start by weeding the garden. Take out all of the stray weeds that don’t belong there and toss them away so they will not reseed and grow elsewhere. Clean out the garden until all that is left are the old vegetable plants. This would be a good time to survey your garden and see if you would like to mix up your garden a bit. Moving plants around to new areas seems to refresh the garden and give the plants a new ground to grow on.

You have the option to fertilize the ground if you like, but if you want to prepare the ground in an economic way, just use what you already have. Those vegetable plants that are left over in the garden can also be used to fertilize the soil. My grandma would use a tiller or a spade to do this job. She would chop the plants up into the soil, and by doing this, the plants would eventually break down. Adding leaves or natural fertilizer to the mix would all enrich the soil. If you have your own compost available include that as well. Keeping things as organic as possible will add structure and vitality to the soil.

Keep the garden growing

If you live in a very dry area it may be a great idea to water the soil. This concept would allow the fertilizer to go deep into the soil which would make the ground even more fertile and energized for next spring. The rain can do the job just as well if watering is not an option. Now some people will plant fall bulbs in the ground at this time so that they will have some tulips or daffodils in the spring. It is always so calming to have flowers around in the springtime, but if you want to keep your garden clean and untouched by other plants, just allow it to rest and rejuvenate itself. When the fall leaves start to cover the ground, you could create mulch and add it to the soil or you can just let the leaves decompose naturally on the ground and that will also be beneficial to the soil. There are all kinds of natural inexpensive ways to add nutrients to your garden. If you have cows or know someone who has cows, ask if you can have a few buckets of manure. It is rich in magnesium, sulfur, zinc, copper, boron, and iron. If you are able to get some fresh manure, I would advise you to add this into the soil 4 months before planting to give it time to decompose just to be safe.


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