Updated: Dec 29, 2021
This is a very informative guest post written by Carrie Spencer of thespencersadventures.net!
While spring and summer are the optimal times for planting and bearing fruit, tending your garden in the fall has some great perks as well. Planting in the fall can reduce the amount of water your garden requires, give you plants that flower vibrantly in the spring, and set up a strong root system for items planted during the early fall months.
Below, Our Appalachian Homestead shares some great ways to maintain your garden in autumn.
Prep Your Soil Properly
Many people have the unfortunate experience of watching some of their favorite plants die even when they give them all the care and attention they can. One possible reason for this is problems with soil pH. Most plants grow under pH conditions between 6 and 7.5. This is where important nutrients are at their maximum availability.
Testing the pH of your soil isn’t very difficult. There are kits available that make it simple and quick. You can use peat moss, various fertilizers, or even mulch to change the pH.
Create a Living Fence
A living fence uses plants such as trees or hedges to create a barrier and promote privacy. One consideration when you are figuring out where you will plant a living fence is whether you want to plant something that is evergreen or deciduous. You’ll want to choose plants that thrive best in the climate you live in. You should also calculate whether you are willing to do some clean-up when leaves start to fall in autumn. You’ll have to prune your living fence pretty frequently to keep it tidy.
You’ll need to start digging up some of the plants in your garden in order to maintain maximum growth. Some plants can be thrown into a compost pile or green waste, so dispose of the plants that have run the course of their lives.
Survey Your Property
If part of your fall prep includes extending your garden, it’s wise to have a property survey completed before you make any changes. This ensures you don’t encroach on someone else’s land, which could land you in an uncomfortable property dispute.
Go for Cooler Temperature Plants
Fall can be the perfect time to plant some kinds of flowers or bulbs that require cold temperatures and time to mature over the winter. Many trees can take advantage of the cool temperatures, good water availability, and moderate soil temperature that fall provides. Spring bulbs such as grape hyacinth, snowdrop, and daffodils are good to plant in the fall as well.
Whether you use shredded leaves, composted plant remains, or “living mulch” to prepare your spring garden, will depend very much on what your primary objectives are. Living mulch is essentially a plant cover. Using living mulch is good if you want to prevent soil erosion, have some garden aesthetic through the winter, and reduce your workload in the fall.
However, composted mulch or shredded leaves might be a good option if you are looking for a mulch that is essentially free. You also might want your spring workload in the garden to be a bit lighter. This can boost curb appeal in the summer by giving vital nutrients and microbes to your garden that it will use to grow more robustly.
Have Your Lawn Fertilized
While prepping your garden for fall, consider also taking the time to fertilize your lawn. This can pay off beautifully when spring rolls around. Ideally, you want to lay your fertilizer before the ground freezes, and typically this is best done in September or October, but frost times vary across the country. You can obviously do this yourself, but to ensure full and generous application, your best bet is to have this professionally handled. Look for lawn fertilization companies in your area with solid reputations and glowing customer reviews.
Add a Rain Barrel
A rain barrel provides a great source of water for your plants, and offers a sustainable and eco-friendly way to water your garden. The best time of year to set up a rain barrel is before the fall rains. Find a spot with a gutter downspout where your barrel can fit, and then either make the necessary changes for your downspout to accommodate your rain barrel, or hire a gutter expert to help. Most gutter maintenance services also provide gutter cleaning and repairs, which will be a necessity once all the leaves have fallen. Look for a multi-service company by searching for “repair and gutter and downspout cleaning near me.” To land on a reliable business, check out online reviews and ratings first.
Tending your garden in the fall is an important step. Prep your soil, dig up the excess plants, mulch things up, and invest in a rain barrel and a living fence. This can help your curb appeal last throughout the winter and give you less work when spring arrives.
This is a beautiful guest post was written by Carrie Spencer of thespencersadventures.net! Please don't forget to check out their amazing blog!