Fall Gardening Beginners Guide
The Spring and Summer months presented us with the opportunity to work the soil as we grow some of our favorite edible and ornamental plants, now that we’re in the fall months there are still a lot of opportunities that we can take advantage of as the winter months approach. However, for the beginner gardener the question may be asked how do I take advantage of this time of the year?
Below we will be answering that question for you along with giving tips that will position and equip you to work in your fall gardens as we head toward the winter months that are not far of. With that said let’s take a closer look at fall gardening for beginners.
Fall Garden Winter Preparation
We have worked the soil during the spring and the summer months now it’s time to give our fall gardens a spring cleaning, the first step in the right direction is taking an assessment of what needs to be done followed by writing them down on a notepad. Once that’s done it’s time to get down and dirty in a clean way. However, before we begin if you need help then, by all means, get help, remember safety is always first.
The Removal of Debris
The removal of debris is so important because debris such as fallen branches and dead leaves will not only look unattractive but become hazardous such as tripping over them and falling which may cause injuries. A build-up of debris such as dead leaves that are laying on the soil’s surface can be a harbourage for garden insect pests to overwinter and emerge once the warmer months (Spring and Summer) arrive.
A buildup of debris can also contribute to and encourage disease, along with rodents such as rats, that will use debris as shelter to hide from predators, according to the number of leaves that are raked up you don’t need to dispose of all of them. If the leaves are diseased free then adding some of those leaves to your compost bin provided you have one can be used to build your soil. Composting is so beneficial to garden plants as well as soil microbes so if you have not started composting as yet then I encourage you to do so, you will see the benefits and reap the rewards.
Don’t be like the farmer’s wife who said” She would rather cut off one of her chicken’s heads before she remove one of her roses” Pruning does a lot for a plant’s health pruning will help to control a plant’s growth, the removal of disease and dead limbs and branches, controls the direction in which a plant grows along with security and safety purposes. Before starting your pruning ensure that you are using the proper pruning tools. A hand pruner can cut small branches and limbs from 1/4 inch-1/2 inch in diameter.
If the branches are much thicker then use a looper that can cut branches up to 2 inches or a pruning saw which can cut branches up to 3 inches in diameter or slightly larger. The use of a strong pair of gloves and safety goggles should be considered before attempting pruning procedures. Dead plants can be removed at this time as well.
Build your Soil
Building your soil is another benefit of fall gardening, we have worked our garden soil through the spring and summer months, and now it’s time to return nutrients to your soil that may be depleted. Sure we may be thinking of adding synthetic fertilizers (man-made) to the soil but instead why not mixed in some compost from your compost bin? this move will enrich your garden soil helping to promote healthy plants.
Crop and Ornamental Planting
Once the soil is prepared it’s time to start planting, whether it’s vegetables, herbs, or flowers you can have a cool season harvest as you grow cool season crops and ornamental plants. For more on cool weather crops and ornamental plants refer to the links that have been provided.
The addition of mulches is a great way not only to add beauty but mulches act as winter protection for the plant’s roots from the frozen ground. The addition of mulches will add nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. When adding mulches to plant beds and around trees, it’s good to add a 2-inch layer. For more on mulches and their benefits refer to the links that have been provided.
We can’t forget our lawns at this time as well, garden lawns once properly maintained can do so much by increasing our property’s value besides many other benefits. Our lawns need help as well especially if it’s a warm-season lawn. During the fall months, we must ensure that our lawns are well taken care of so that when spring and the summer months arrive they will continue to add flavor to our gardens and landscapes as they grow healthy. For more on lawn care during the fall, months refer to the links that have been provided. Overseeding lawn in the fall and How to take care of grass in the fall.
Winter Garden Tools Cleanup
Keeping our tools clean is a must why because we have invested our hard-earned dollars in these pieces of equipment and in order for them to last a long time and continue to work well we must ensure they are properly clean. For more on tool cleaning refer to winter garden tools cleaning.
Benefits of Fall Gardening
- The weather is more comfortable to work in
- Garden insects pests are less active
- Weeds tend to grow slower
- The soil which is still warm will encourage root growth
- Watering less because of rainfall
- Fewer disease issues
- Extending the season
- Seed germanate quickly because of the warm soil
- Planting or making preparations before the spring and summer months arrives
The final word on fall gardening for beginners
Gardening during the fall months is that simple, all it takes is some know-how and you have come to the right place to learn how to garden in the fall. These steps that you take now are not only effective but will reward you with great results as the warmer months arrive. I encourage you if you have not done so as yet to work in your garden (fall months) you will be so happy with the results as your garden rewards you with not only a good (edible plants) harvest but beautiful and healthy ornamental and flowering plants as well. With that said let’s get started.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.