Awhile back I shared with you a few tips on how to begin your fall gardening. But now that we’re fully immersed in fall, it’s tempting to leave the backyard garden alone. It’s easy to say, “I’ll take care of it in the spring.”
After all, there’s a chill in the air. Festivities are in full swing. And there’s a lot to do to get ready for winter. The garden is just not top of mind for many of us.
But engaging in a few activities now before it gets colder will not only help get our gardens ready for the spring. They can also help us save some money.
Let’s take a look at some fall gardening maintenance hacks we can take. Then we’ll talk about ways to save some cash.
Clear it out & leaf it up
The first step is to remove old vegetable plants, pull weeds and clean up debris. In addition to making room for other plantings, this will enhance the appearance of your garden.
When you mow your lawn – perhaps for the last time this season – mow right over fallen leaves and use a grass catcher.
You can then toss those leaf remains onto your garden, which will benefit from the combination of nitrogen and carbon.
This will help make your garden more fertile in the spring. And be a deterrent to the inevitable weeds that will invade.
Garden Hack: Plant Your Spring Bulbs And Fall Veggies Right Now
If you want to add some color to your garden this fall, plant some or all of the following: chrysanthemums, kale, pansies, asters and cyclamen.
If you live in a fairly mild climate, you can even plant or transplant radishes, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and other vegetables.
Sink some spring-blooming bulbs into your garden as well. Such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and lilies. It provides the perfect time to plant so that they reap the fertilizing benefits of the winter snowfall.
This is also a good time to plant shrubs and trees if you feel so inclined. You and your neighbors will love the colorful leaves.
Fall is also a great time to start a new batch of compost. Your more sensitive plants can use an extra layer as a blanket.
Stock up now while costs are lower
Fall plantings do not require as much water as spring plantings, so you’ll save some money there. But there are other ways to keep costs down.
This is a great time to pick up plants, grass seed and even tools. Nurseries often have these items on sale at this time of year as they try to clear out their stock.
If you’ve been thinking about a new lawn, this might be the time to rip out old sod and put in new. It should be less expensive now than in the spring.
The cooler weather will also keep weeds from growing, and rain will give your plants the moisture they need to grow.
Keep the focus on root growth
You may also wish to use fertilizer in your garden at this time. Ground temperatures will remain warm for a while – even as air temps drop – so plants will focus their energy on root growth.
Insects are not nearly as active in the fall as they are in the spring and summer. So you shouldn’t have to worry much about them or spend money keeping them away.
Then when spring eventually comes along, those healthy roots should produce more robust and disease-resistant plants.
When choosing a fertilizer, look for root growth-promoting potassium. Ask someone at your local nursery if you’re not sure which one is best for your area.
It’s not quite time to say “Have a nice winter” to your garden. There’s plenty you can still do now to clear it out, nurture it and prepare it for the spring. When March rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.