Winter is coming, and that is not a Game of Thrones reference. With Fall creeping up, we all know winter is right around the corner which means our coveted gardening season is coming to an end. Of course, this takes all of those green thumbs out there and turns them upside down. As inevitable as it might be, gardeners of the world are never emotionally prepared for the end of gardening season.
The good news is, although you might not be emotionally ready to put away the gardening shears, you can physically prepare your garden for next year’s green season in a few easy steps. Let’s take a look at how to successfully prepare your garden for next year’s crops.
- Clean out the weeds from this year’s garden
What happens when we place and leave a plant in the ground? It deepens its roots, making a stand for itself among everything else. Well, the same can be said about weeds. The longer you leave weeds in your garden, the deeper their root systems will become. Moreover, it will be more difficult to remove them at a later date. Plus, if you wait you will have twice as much work as you would have had you weeded in the first place. Clean your weeds out now before the cold strikes and you should have no issues next planting season.
- Avoid composting your tomato and pepper plants
While this might sound counterintuitive, you should stop composting your tomato and pepper plants if that is what you typically do. Instead, they would be better purposed in your burn pile. Use those babies for kindling on those cool Autumn evenings when you and your loved ones sit around making s’mores. Now, you are probably asking yourself, why? The simple answer is that it reduces the risks of any plant disease spreading to your soil. Additionally, the seeds and any fruit leftover is not desirable for compost.
- Start adding your organic matter now
Gather all of your compost and other organic matter and introduce it into your soil NOW. For it is this organic matter that is going to greatly boost the quality of your soil. This ultimately ensures that you have a wonderful start going into next year’s growing season. You will want to begin by introducing your chopped leaves, grass, and compost intimately into the soil. You should even consider collecting neighbors leaves and clippings that are already in the gutters. Disperse generous amounts amidst your soil and utilize the leaves as mulch if you feel the need.
- Think of planting a cover crop
This is something that all the big farmers do in their industry. If you plan on having success in growing crops next year, and of course you do, you may want to plant cover crops in your gardening soil. Our gardens and flower beds benefit greatly from a cover crop. It serves to prevent your garden from being drained of all of its nutrients before you get the chance to truly utilize them for growing new crops. You might try planting rye for example as it is loaded full of nutrients and it adds a lot to your soil. Ideally, your cover crop will root itself deeply within the soil, adding all that nitrogen your plants love. As long as you decide to use something like an annual rye, without letting it go to seed, you should have no trouble with your cover plants turning to weeds. By following these four easy steps, your garden will be green again before you know it.