The start of the planting season is always such an exciting time especially if it was your first ever garden. It’s an opportunity to meet up with friends to swap ideas, go plant shopping for new tools, seeds and seedlings, and it generally means the warmer weather is on its way. You also get to take part in the daily excitement of plucking ripe fruit and vegetables – an inevitable smorgasbord for your family to enjoy, fresh from the garden. It’s always such a feeling of accomplishment. You can create full-bodied and enriching meals, all with fruits and vegetables mothered and nourished by your very hands.
However, as the air grows colder and the night skies roll in far earlier than normal, it’s clear that winter is on its way. The garden, at this point, is made up of abandoned beds and stems picked clean of their fruits. It’s a miserable sight. Unfortunately, that means it’s now time to prepare your garden for winter. So do not panic, here are some tips below.
1. Expand, enhance, encourage.
Now is a good time to reflect on your past growing season. Was it everything you wanted it to be? Were there things you wish had gone better? Now that you’ve harvested all you can, it’s a perfect opportunity to make some changes, if necessary.
It’s at this time that you can expand or reduce your garden. Is your garden getting too big for you to handle on your own? Is it not big enough to feed your growing family? Why not add in a few additional garden beds, or take a few away? Plan your next planting space now, so that it’s ready for the next season of planting ahead.
2. Prepare the soil.
By now you’ve probably realised your gardens look far worse than they did while your plants were growing. Weeds have more than likely taken hold, dead plants could be scattered here and there, and bugs are trying to pick clean any remnants you’ve left behind.
It’s at this time you should remove all leftovers from the garden and prepare the soil to start fresh. This could even include investing in a soil test to find out whether your soil has adequate nutrients to nourish new crops next season.
3. Use the colder weather to your advantage.
Although the start of fall can be a miserable time, with all those beautiful green leaves turning to brown, you can use the seasonal change to your advantage. If your property has an abundance of trees, you can make use of those falling leaves. Rake them into piles and place them in your compost heap to use as mulch. The soil will love the extra nutrients, and so will your plants.
4. Work out your next planting schedule.
If you’re a seasoned gardener, no doubt you will already have decided what can be planted next. However, for those who are newer to home gardening, this can be a little trickier. Did you know some plants cannot be planted near others, or even in the same garden bed? Some kinds should also be planted somewhere completely different than they were the year before. If it’s easier, plan out a sketch with where new plants will be planted, in order to minimize the risk of placing plants near others that don’t benefit from this placement.
5. Plant vegetables that thrive on the colder weather
Although it may seem like a dormant season, winter can become a growing season quite easily. It just may not be very pleasant when you’re out in all weather, tending to your plants!
Onions and shallots grow very well in fall and winter, as do garlic, spring onions, spinach, broad beans, peas and asparagus. If you’re not one to sit still for too long, there’s no harm in producing vegetables year-round to keep the fridge well stocked up for your family.
One last note depending on your brand, make sure to bring in your solar energy path light fixtures inside the shed or garage especially if your area receives snow.