Fall is the best time to garden. I share why I love Fall for gardening and how to get started.
Why Fall is the best time to garden when most think of Spring for getting started and who can blame them. After a long winter of cold and being cooped up in the house we itch to get outside and work the dirt. The enthusiasm runs high and many rush out to buy plants, seeds and garden stuff.
But what if you can have beautiful blooms as soon as the snow melts and your soil is ready and waiting for you to plant? Some of the earliest blooming plants need to be put in the ground in Fall and if you prepare your garden well the worms will be turning your soil into a healthy mix for Spring planting.
Benefits of Starting in Fall
- Planting many perennials and flower seeds in Fall gives them a head start which means flowers for you earlier in the season. Once the ground warms roots begin to grow, well before we are able to start digging in the garden to plant or seed. To see what seeds I sow in Fall CLICK HERE
- Flowers earlier in the season makes for a food source for our trusty, dusty pollinators. Bees, butterflies and other necessary insects rely on early blooms as the weather warms and they become active.
- Fall, of course, is the best time to plant those Spring blooming bulbs and rhizomes for a spectacular early garden display. I am partial to Iris. CLICK HERE for All About Iris.
- With the cooler weather and some Fall rains the need to water is reduced.
- The cooler Fall weather creates a less stressful environment for your perennials to get started. Less stress = healthier plants. Healthier plants = a more beautiful garden. Plus the cooler temps makes it a more pleasant experience for the gardener to work.
- If you are just getting started you can begin creating wonderful soil now for Spring planting.
Great soil is your Gardens Best Friend
Feeding your soil is such an important element in the organic garden or any garden that I cannot stress it enough. If you feed a plant it is likened to battery power that eventually is used up and will no longer supply energy that is needed. Feeding the soil is like an hydroelectric plant that is supplied by natural forces and will continue on perpetually providing energy. You won’t believe how much easier your Spring planting can be by just starting in Fall with soil amendments.
- Dig out roots of perennial weeds and fluff up the soil a bit, just turning it over lightly is enough, don’t worry about big clods or getting it perfectly smoothed out, the rain and winter weather will do it for you. Fluffing up the soil can be done as you plant all those fabulous Spring bulbs, rhizomes and corms, kill two birds with one stone.
- Collect the fallen leaves and KEEP them! A leaf blower that reverses to a vacuum is your friend. Seriously, this tool is wonderful as it not only vacuums up the leaves but it chops them at the same time. You can spread the shredded leaves on your beds as mulch, keeping weeds at bay (or at least cutting back on the volume of weeds that come back ) and feeding your soil. If you don’t use them as mulch then keep them to put in your compost bin or make leaf mold from them, both are fabulous soil amendments. Got such bad soil that it would be impossible to revive it? Create raised beds.
- Feed the soil with some serious amendments. I use the chicken manure I collect from my chickens. I place the leaves on the soil first then I pour on a layer of chicken manure. I don’t worry about how composted my manure is as the plants are dormant, the leaves act as the carbon needed to offset the nitrogen of the chicken doo and they work in synergy to feed the worms that will turn all of that debris into rich garden soil. (you would not do this if this is a bed you seeded). You can use compost from the garden center or some also carry composted chicken manure, worm castings etc. I am careful to avoid plants like my Iris that are not fond of a lot of nitrogen.
For more garden info like what tools I love and why, please visit my Lazy Gal’s Garden series, 3 posts of how I garden.
Do you have any tips or tricks for Fall gardening to share? If so, please do so in the comments, I am always looking for garden info to try that I may not think of.
I wish you an Indian Summer and a Glorious Spring!
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