The Case for Investing Good Fall Garden Practices
The leaves are changing colors, and beginning their rapid downfall into my garden beds. My perennials are browning out and drooping heavily in the beds.The acorns are dropping by the thousands! I am often pelleted by them as I begin my fall garden work. Hmmm….lots of acorns…sign of a harsh winter? All signs its time to prepare my gardens for their winter’s nap.
By investing time to clean and prepare your beds for the winter, you can save yourself some valuable time in the spring. I prefer to have time in the spring to enjoy that wonderful garden transition from the dull tones of winter to bright colors and wildlife visitors in the spring. I also find time spent on proper practices in the Fall can reduce your weeds and clean up come Spring.
Garden Goddess Fall Garden Practices:
- Cut perennials down and remove the debris from the garden. But leave plants who will feed the birds this winter. (coneflowers, sedum, ligularia, ornamental grasses)
- Remove any weeds. This is one way to discourage those pesky fall weed seeds planting themselves in your garden that suck all your time and energy next year.
- Apply an organic fall fertilizer. For newly planted garden I like to use a 3-3-3, for established gardens I apply the organic Plant Tone from the Epsoma product line.
- If newly planted perennial root balls are slightly exposed due to your organic mulch decomposition throughout the season, back fill around the root for protection
- Blow leaves from the bedding areas. This is my personal practice preference. Although there are many resources out there that discourage this…I have found in our region removal keeps down the chances of mold and diseases while discouraging the small wildlife foraging in my beds all winter!
- Plant your Spring bulbs! Each year I add a few more to my gardens, to extend my display time in the Spring. You can actually choreograph a spring bloom dance by checking the bulb label for bloom time!
- Assess your soil for next year’s planning. If you are not seeing earthworms and rich, dark soil, you have work to do next season!
- Add a thin layer of organic mulch to your gardens. This can be that extra winter blanket for the root balls.
Do that extra garden work now while the temperatures are comfortable, your energy level higher and nuisance insects at a minimum. You will be rewarded handsomely come the Spring! As always “keeping common sense and sustainability at the core of all my garden practices”. For more garden tips go to my website: http://www.gardengoddesssenseandsustainability.com Follow me on instagram: gardengoddessupstateny