…and I’m thinking about spring gardening. How about you?
While I’m harvesting seeds for next year, pulling out finished plants and even planting fall and winter tolerant vegetables, I’m also starting to think about the spring garden. Fall is a great time to add compost and soil amendments while you let it rest until spring. As your compost breaks down, it recharges the soil beneath it with minerals and microorganisms that works it’s way down. If you till, fall is a great time to plant cover crops that will be tilled into your soil in the spring. Radish is really popular here. We were slowly working toward raised beds so that we wouldn’t need to till, but I am starting to consider permanent 30″ flat beds instead. Still no tilling, but no wood frames to worry about.
Growing up I learned from my grandfather to cover the garden and perennial plants for winter. For us this meant raking the fall leaves onto the garden and around perennials. In the spring we would turn them over into the soil. I still do this, except I am gettingaway from digging or tilling. Using a mower will shred them nicely, and if you have a bagger you won’t need to rake them. Some people will cover their gardens/beds with straw or wood chips, still there are some who actually use tarps or other weed barriers. A little work in the fall will greatly impact your garden in the spring.
Fall is also a great time to plan for garden expansions. Covering areas you want to expand with compost materials and a tarp over the winter will choke out the vegetation under it and make your spring work a little easier. I have a couple areas I’m considering expanding so I want to get the materials ready.
One area some might forget is cleaning up and caring for your tools. This might mean things like applying boiled linseed oil to wood handles, sharpening, sanding, oiling metals so they don’t rust. In the spring they’ll be ready to go when you’re itching to get out into the garden.
Another great fall prep is writing your thoughts down about this season into your garden journal. (Of course you have a garden journal…any notebook or notepad will do.) Give a summary about how things went, what worked well and what didn’t, what improvements or plant varieties you might like to try, weather challenges you had, pest battles, you get the idea. This are things you can use as you start planning and prepping for next years garden.
A bit of work in the fall will get my spring garden going much quicker when the weather breaks. I can’t wait!
Job 37:9-10 From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.
Until next time – live simply and love abundantly! Grace and peace…