Fall is half over and many of us are (excitedly or reluctantly) starting to get into the holiday season. Even though the lights and music in the stores are calling for you to leave the summer behind and fully embrace nature’s time to hibernate, there’s one place that needs your late-season attention: your garden.
The soil in your garden worked hard all summer long, and now it needs some rejuvenation before it nestles in for its long winters’ nap. Additionally, after you’ve finished giving your soil a little pampering, give it some friends to snuggle with in the cold until Springtime comes again. Let’s explore some late-season soil rejuvenation tips as well as the best things to plant now for a great Spring garden.
Replenish Your Soil’s Nutrients
At the end of the growing season, the soil in your garden is exhausted. Its nutrients have been taken from it by the plants it helped grow, and it needs to be replenished. The fall is a great time of year to do this. You’re already out in the yard pulling up plants and raking up leaves, so why not take an extra hour or two to give the soil a boost? To make it even easier, the best organic food for your soil are the very leaves you’re raking up! Take your leaves and shred them with your lawn mower, then spread them over your garden. You can rotate them into the soil with a pitchfork or let them decompose on top of the soil and turn it in the Spring. Other options for your garden are compost from your compost bin, or the planting of cover crops.
Plant Bulbs Now for Spring Flowers
Now that you’ve taken some time to enrich your soil, give it some friends! According to Better Homes & Gardens, all spring-blooming bulbs need a period of cold dormancy to bloom. Plant bulbs in fall to ensure a beautiful spring display. If deer or other critters frequent your yard, plant bulbs they don’t like to nibble, such as daffodil, crown imperial, grape hyacinth, Siberian squill, allium, fritillaria, English bluebell, dog’s-tooth violet, glory-of-the-snow, winter aconite, or snowdrop.
So, don’t forget, before you bid outside work good-bye and focus your efforts indoors for the Winter, take the steps necessary to rejuvenate your soil for next spring as well as set your garden up for some beautiful spring flowers.