Some people make the mistake of believing that the start of fall means the end of your garden, but that’s actually the opposite of the truth. On top of the fact that there are still plenty of gorgeous flowers that bloom in the later months of the year, autumn is actually prime time to start preparing your garden for next spring, doing the prep work that will ensure you beautiful blooms once the ground unthaws once and for all.
I’ve put together a short list of fall gardening tips that will ensure that you make the most of these next few months in the great outdoors.
First: Clean Up Debris
Consider this a miniature version of the spring cleaning maintenance you have to do on your garden at the start of the season:
- Rake leaves into the grass so you can move them elsewhere or go over them with the lawn mower (which can actually create a sort of natural blanket that will protect your grass and help it grow come springtime).
- Pull up not only unwanted weeds, but any spent leaves from vegetable plants or non-perennials that won’t bloom again. This will prevent unwanted seeds from spreading and growing come spring.
- If you compost, empty out your compost bins and spread the compost around the bases of especially sensitive plants. This will form a protective layer around them to help shield them from the cold and ice. (If you don’t compost, you should really consider starting, as the benefits are huge, for you, your garden and the environment.)
Next: Plant Fall Flowers
As I said before, there are plenty of plants out there that bloom in fall, and would really make the outside of your home pop. If you live in a colder climate, you may have to take extra precautions first: gardeningknowhow.com has some helpful suggestions for that, including the simple use of mulch. Once you’ve done that, though, you have at least two and a half solid months of plants ahead of you. Here are some lovely fall blooms you can plant now:
- Black Eyed Susans
- Sweet Alyssum
And, if you grow vegetables, there are a few that you can plant that will still yield this late in the season as well:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens (which actually taste BETTER after exposure to frost!)
- Green Onions
- Parsnips (also better after first frost)