Experts agree that Fall is the time do your planting. The cooler temperature is actually easier on the plants because the soil remains warm, giving the roots a chance to grow right up until the ground freezes. Contrary to popular belief, there is ample rain in the fall feed your plants—more than in spring. Finally, there is almost no concern over pests and weeds, nor do you have to fertilize in the fall. Of course this is to say nothing of the money you can save on past season inventory.
How to prep your garden for spring
To save yourself some time and labor later, the first thing on your list of gardening to-do’s this fall should be to make sure your beds are cozy and warm or winter. One way to do this is the to plant “cover crops.” These are grassy crops that keep your beds covered, while feeding the soil nutrients, and discouraging weed growth, pests and other disease cycles from continuing. Cover crops will keep the soil temperature regulated and moist, while protecting from the harsh weather. Some ideal crops are:
- Winter Rye
Or, best to plant more than one in order to reap benefits of the different crops. Additionally, you may consider adding other organic matter like compost to your beds. This can even include the leaves in your yard! Run your mower over the leaves to shred them, and then dig into your raised bed to decompose.
As long as your beds will be protected, you can consider planting the following for next spring:
- Wildflowers! Just like grass seed, wildflower seed will settle in its home and bloom two weeks earlier than spring-planted wildflower.
- Shrubbery–Since planting and transplanting shrubbery can be taxing on the tree, the fall is best time to plant, when there will be less chance for transpiration. Further, they have the downtime to develop the root system, allowing them to rest and recuperate before growth in the spring.
- Bulbs, bulbs, bulbs—In fact, this is the only time to plant bulbs since they need the dormancy in order to bloom. Like wildflowers, your will bloom much sooner. Our favorite bulbs to plant for the most vibrant spring color include:
Most importantly, if you plant now, you’ll have more time to enjoy the fruits of your labor while your neighbors are still plugging away in June!
How do you prep your garden for spring?