Prepare your garden for next year.

As you savor those last tomatoes on the vine, it is a great time to look forward to next year with hope and enthusiasm. While the season is changing there are still some cold-tolerant veggies you can grow if you get them planted in time to reach maturity before the first frost date for our region.

  1. Plant fall vegetables.
    Turn to hardy vegetables that will grow in the fall as well as they will in the spring: Carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, and peas are a few examples. These can also withstand a few days of light frost before harvesting. Here’s more info from the Almanac: https://www.almanac.com/content/fall-garden-planting-fall
  2. Do some last-minute harvesting.
    Harvest as many of your summer crops as you can before your region’s first frost date. Once that first frost strikes, summer plants will quickly die, and any fruit left on the vine will be damaged.
  3. Clean up.
    Remove perished plants from your garden. If you let them rot, you are likely inviting fungi, disease and microbes into your garden that will taint fall vegetable growth.
  4. Support your soil.
    Consider adding some nutrients to your soil, both in the fall and the spring. Leaves are great organic matter for your garden and a portion of compost before the ground freezes will rejuvenate your soil. Read more about ways to improve your garden soil here: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/dirty-secrets-10-ways-to-improve-garden-soil/
  5. Take stock of your supplies and tools.
    Whether you need another pruner, plant cages, a new hoe or soil knife take stock of your tools and replace worn out items now, so you are properly prepped for spring.
  6. Create a compost bin.
    Fall is a great time to begin your own compost bin or pile. The detritus of the season – fallen leaves, grass clippings, and plant matter from your garden – will help you get it started.
  7. Try growing plants from seed.
    Growing from seed is affordable and catalogs offer many varieties that are difficult to find at your local nursery. Depending on the variety, start germinating your seed in late winter or early spring. Read more on this topic from Gardeners.com: https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/how-to-start-seeds/5062.html

Posted October 10, 2020

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