Fall is the time of the year when many gardeners start thinking about the best methods to prepare their gardens,and lawns for the coming winter months. Even if you know your average first frost, you need to be ready for an unexpected, sudden frost or unseasonably freezing temperatures. Many of your plants, such as annual flowers, may be nearing the end of their season, and you might be tempted to close your garden for the year and just let nature take over. But you’ve invested a lot of time and money into you’re landscape and garden. Fall is a good time to invest a little time in caring for your garden and ensure that it is well-prepared for the coming winter months.
Here are a few ways to achieve this.
One of the best things you can do for your vegetable garden beds is to grow cover crops that will protect your soil. This is one of the things I do in my own garden, and recommend to my clients and students. Cover crops keeps bare soil covered helping to prevent weeds, but most importantly, replenish the soil with essential nutrients, and add organic matter to your soil. When spring comes around, your soil will be weed free, loose and ready for planting.
It’s easy to sow a cover crop. All you have to do is scatter your seeds on bare soil and watch them grow. Visit your local plant nursery and find out what cover crops do best in your area and can withstand your winter weather.
If you choose not to sow a cover crop, there are other ways to prepare for next spring’s garden. Add composted manure or compost to your empty beds and add a mulch of soil conditioner, leaves or straw. Preparing your soil also means you wouldn’t have to worry about starting fresh when the planting season begins. It makes starting your spring garden so much easier.
Use this less busy time in the garden to clean, sharpen, and oil your garden tools, before you store them for the winter months. Take inventory of what you may need for next springs garden. Many home improvement stores will have garden tools and supplies on sale at the end of the gardening season. Store your garden pots and seed trays where they will be easily retrieved when spring rolls around. Use this handy list to write down any new garden tools or equipment you may need. Click here to download Supply List that you can take to the home improvement store with you.
Tree, Bushes, and Lawns
Bushes and trees can also benefit from fall maintenance before the winter months arrive. Mulching with composted organic mulch underneath them in late fall or early winter will help retain moisture in the soil. It will also help regulate the soil temperature.
Water trees and bushes until the ground freezes.
Remove any dead or broken branches that you can reach, and clean up fallen leaves.
Consider working with a lawn care company to help you prepare your lawn, and to do tree and bush maintenance. They have the equipment and expertise to help prepare you for the upcoming winter months.
Preparing now for the colder months ahead will ensure that your yard and garden are well taken care of. Spring will be here before you know it!
Want more garden tips? Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, and join the GrowingwithGardenchick Facebook group. We would love to have you!
You can watch me in my garden as I discuss cover crops in this video
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.