Fall means it’s almost time to put the garden to rest. But don’t put the shovel down yet! There are still a few tasks to be completed before it gets too cold.
Get a jump start on spring by cleaning, harvesting, feeding and caring for plants now.
Five Ways to Prep Fall Gardens for Spring
1. Harvest. Pick the last of your crops. Properly store onions, carrots, potatoes and winter squash for use throughout the winter.
2. Put the garden to bed. Start cleaning up by pulling dead plants and weeds. Sort them into appropriate piles – one for weeds and diseased plants and one for compostable materials like annuals, veggies and leaves. Rake up leaves and debris.
3. Feed. Care for perennial herbs, fruits and vegetables in the fall to support new spring growth. Add 1-2 inches of organic matter such as compost to beds and cover with straw.
4. Mulch. Plants need protection from winter’s harsh elements. Use chopped leaves, pine straw or other biodegradable mulch to protect the soil. Spread an even layer of mulch 3-4 inches thick around perennial plants and trees to act as a buffer when temperatures vary, and to restore soil health.
5. Plant garlic. Plant individual cloves 3 inches deep and spaced 6-8 inches apart. Cover with 2 inches of mulch, water and wait! Each clove will develop into a full head of garlic by next summer.