As the garden harvest wraps up, it is time to start thinking about next year’s garden. This is the perfect time to assess the past season, save some seed, rebuild the soil and much more. Take a few minutes each week between now and when the flies to prepare for next year’s garden with these 5 fall gardening chores.
Save Those Leaves
All those falling leaves are an amazing free boon to a gardener. Compost them for spring planting or use them for mulch around your perennial plants. Use a thick layer of leaves as a protective cover over that fall planted garlic or root vegetables left in the ground during the winter. I keep a large covered garbage can of leaves near the door and toss a handful into my worm bin now and them to add brown matter during winter months.
Practice Fall Planting
Things like tulips and daffodils should be planted in the fall as a cold period is necessary for their blooming. Garlic, sunchokes, many perennial herbs, even some fruit trees can and should be planted in the fall. This is a great time to take advantage of sales at local greenhouses and build up those perennial beds.
Save those that didn’t cross for next year’s garden. Seeds that might have crossed, like radishes, can be saved for winter sprouts. Ask friends for their seeds too, this is a great way to find flowers most especially.
Build the Soil
The soil has worked hard during the growing season, be sure to feed it now and help it rebuild. Add compost, shredded leaves, manure, etc. Let all that sit and do its thing under the cover of snow (assuming your climate has snow). Doing this now will pay off with more abundant harvests next spring.
Reassess the Past
Now is the time to make sure to note anything special about the past season. Even the most diligent note takers can benefit by taking a few minutes now to reflect on the past hardening season. Use this time to make general notes about the season and changes desired for next. It’s so much handier to do this now and refer back to the garden journal later than try to recall it all from memory in the spring.
As you bring in the rest of this year’s harvest be sure to take a few minutes now to prepare for next year’s harvest. These fall gardening chores are quick and relatively easy while providing huge rewards.