Prepare Now for a Thriving Garden Come Spring
It might be fall, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to neglect your garden for the winter. There are still tasks you can complete now to better prepare for spring. For example, continue watering your plants until the ground starts to freeze — their roots are still actively growing, even in the cooler weather. Every action you take now will pay off during the next growing season.
Take note of what worked
Jot down which plants flourished and which ones you want to avoid next year. You’ll be ahead of the game by knowing the best varieties for your soil. You can also evaluate if certain areas need more foliage or color and if plants need to be moved or divided.
Maintain your tools
Prolong the lifespan of your gardening tools by giving them a good cleaning before winter storage. Wash off stuck-on dirt and debris to prevent rusting, sharpen and oil metal pieces, and add linseed oil to wooden handles. You can also go beyond garden tools and drain the gas from your power tools and mower, change the oil, and grease the engine.
Plant for spring
Once nighttime temperatures dip between 40 and 50 degrees, it’s time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, alliums, and daffodils. If animals tend to dig up your garden, there are a couple of solutions you can try. Either spray the bulbs with animal repellent before planting, or cover the soil with a layer of chicken wire. Both will ward off unwelcome visitors.
Bring plants and cuttings indoors
Some plants can be brought inside for the winter. To do so, water thoroughly to flush pests, clean up dead and damaged leaves, and spray with insecticidal soap a few days before bringing them inside. Branches and grasses can be used to decorate the inside of your home, too. They look great arranged in a large, decorative vase — and add an element of “fall” to your decor.
Mulch fallen leaves
Leaving piles of leaves on the ground can lead to disease and pest issues. Instead, shred leaves using a mulching lawn mower with a bag attachment or a leaf blower with a vacuum and mulching feature — both tools make the task a little easier. You can also mow over leaves with your regular mower if you want your lawn to get the benefits. This does make it difficult to gather up and spread into your garden, though. If you have an excess of leaves, consider starting a compost pile.
Saving seeds is a clever way to save money. As long as the seeds are dry, you can save them in paper envelopes, paper bags, or glass jars. Just remember to label them so you know what you’re planting once you pull them out next spring.