Fall Planting Pointers
Though many people gear up to work on their yards and gardens in the spring, fall is actually an ideal time for yard work. Here are a few ideas for bringing your garden to life in the fall:
- Compost the leaves. Falling leaves are beautiful to look at but may seem like an inconvenience when planning your garden. Instead of bagging the leaves and leaving them out with the trash, consider collecting them and composting them to create nutrient-rich, organic soil that will be ready for use by the spring. Check out our tips on collecting leaves and how to compost here.
- Fertilize organically. When preparing your soil for next year, add organic, slow-release fertilizers that will help enhance your soil over time. These fertilizers are made of natural materials, contain vital nutrients to help your plants grow, and prevent plants from getting nitrogen. Most garden stores today carry a wide variety of organic fertilizers; many catalog companies also sell organic products.
- Plant trees. By the time autumn rolls around, summer heat waves are long past, rainfall is usually more plentiful, and new trees, bushes and flowers have a greater chance of surviving than they would if they were planted during a hotter season. Choose species native to your area as well as those that are drought and pest resistant and can grow in the kind of soil and amount of sunlight available on your property.
- Other ideas. If you have a vegetable or fruit garden that you want to maintain throughout the winter, consider planting root bulbs and leafcrops that will continue to produce despite the colder weather. This will work in many regions of the country, but some places might still be too cold. Building a greenhouse or a hot beds to cultivate your veggies could keep the fresh food coming throughout the winter!
Can't sustain your crops through the winter? Find local farms that do. There are Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and farmer's markets in many cities and towns that allow farmers to sell their locally grown, fresh food all year long!
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