When most people think about gardening, they envision it as a summer activity. But gardening in the fall months has benefits too: the weather is milder, there are fewer insects, and the soil becomes moister. With so many wonderful fall vegetables to harvest, you should certainly capitalize on this season to develop your garden.
Steps for Preparing Your Fall Vegetable Garden:
- Clean your garden: this involves removing any weeds, spent plants, and fallen fruits as these can interfere with the success of your garden.
- Remove the existing layer of mulch to freshen the garden soil. You can then add fresh mulch, and may even consider using straw as it is easily scattered and helps control the appearance of insects in your garden. Alternatively, you can add shredded leaves as mulch, especially since you will have an abundance of fallen leaves in your yard at this time of year. You can run these leaves through a shredder or mow them. Once you spread the leaves over your garden, wet them down so they do not blow away.
- Loosen your soil: if your soil is compact, you can loosen it with a garden fork. This will allow the new plant roots to grow and for water to more easily penetrate the soil.
- Add compost to your soil: adding compost to your soil will provide it with extra nutrients and make your plants more viable.
- Rake out the soil: once you have loosened the soil and added the compost, rake out the soil. Raking it will even the surface, break up any remaining clumps, and allow the water to move through the soil.
- Prepare for winter: if you plan to use frost protection (such as a cold frame or hoop cover), it is best to arrange them now. This precautionary measure will ensure that they will be in place when the first frost comes and that they will not affect the plants’ roots once they start growing.
By closely following these tips, you will be on your way to a successful fall garden! Happy harvesting!