When it comes to the vegetable garden, there are 4 Fall garden chores that can make all the difference in the success of next year’s harvest! With a little work now, you can set the stage for your best-ever garden next season.
The Must Do 4 Fall Garden Chores
#1 Create A Lasting Snapshot Of Your Current Garden – Now!
This is the least labor intensive of all four fall garden chores, but a huge difference maker! Take time now to commit this year’s garden to memory by snapping a few pictures, or sketching out what is growing where. Spend a couple of minutes jotting down a few notes on what plants thrived, and what plants struggled.
Why? Because it will give you a road map to gardening success next year. By taking time to jot down now what you have where – it makes it easy to plan new spots for the same crops next year. Rotating your plants in the garden is one of the best ways to keep pests and disease at bay. It also keeps the soil from losing it’s vitality. You will also have a record of what varieties underperformed – and decide if maybe it’s time to try a new type.
And if you think you will remember come next Spring – trust me when I say from experience, you won’t!
So take out that cell phone and snap a few pictures now and commit those notes to permanent memory. The best part is that after a few years, you will have an incredible wealth of information from your notes.
#2 The Clean Up
When it comes to eliminating next year’s disease and pest problems, this one is a must! As your annual vegetable garden plants begin to die off and stop producing, take time to remove them from your garden.
One of the most damaging things you can do to your garden is to leave this year’s crops in place until next spring.
When you allow plants to overwinter, all kinds of bad things start to happen. For one, it sets the table for garden pests to find a place to hide out and multiply. It also allows late season blight and other diseases that have infested plants a chance to become established. It also lets seeds from the leftover veggies to become planted, waiting to sprout all around next years crops.
#3 Start That Compost Pile
Simply put, compost is the powerhouse of great gardens. It is teeming with all sorts of beneficial microbes and organisms that help to create great balance and structure in the soil.
Fall is the perfect time to start a pile with readily available leaves and garden scraps. And by starting it now, you can have great compost ready to go come planting day next year.
When building that pile, there are a few things to keep out. We never compost our tomato and pepper plants, opting to instead burn them on our fire pit. We have found with the ease of spreading blight and disease, those two plants are better left out. See : Making A Fall Compost Pile
#4 The BIG ONE – Planting A Cover Crop
We talk about it often, but planting and covering your garden with a blanket of a thick cover crop is an absolute must. It not only enriches the soil, but helps to fix nitrogen levels as well. It also helps eliminate next year’s weed seeds from becoming established. Cover crops are one of the most inexpensive ways to power your garden and eliminate weeding – period! See : How To Plant A Cover Crop
So get out there and get started on those 4 fall garden chores – and get ready for a great garden next year!
Happy Fall Gardening! Jim and Mary
To receive our Recipes, DIY and Gardening articles each week, sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also check out our new book, Growing Simple, now available on Amazon.com.