How To Prepare Soil For Fall Garden

Fall Garden Soil Preparation

How To Prepare Soil For Fall Garden-seeds-sprouting
Seeds Sprouting

At the heart or the root of growing healthy plants that thrive or produce a good harvest is the soil, soil really matters and it starts at ground level which will help to determine how our garden plants will respond. I have never seen a beautiful garden with lush green and shades of colors that were growing in the wrong soil type, yet there are many that overlooked this fact (soil preparation) without having much garden success because of growing plants in poor soils or the wrong soil type.

Below we will be discussing fall garden soil preparation so you can avoid the pitfall of being unsuccessful, what we want is for our efforts to be successful so we can reap the rewards of our labor so continue reading to find out how this is done.

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5 Proven Methods for a Healthy Soil

How To Prepare Soil For Fall Garden-checking-soil
Checking soil

1.  A Soil Test

Although some may not recommend it, it’s still important to get a soil test done, a soil test is like a flashlight so to speak, it shines light on what nutrients are available and lacking. This test will also determine the pH level of acid and alkalinity in the soil, a soil pH home test kit can be used, or contact your local Ag extension office that can help to do the soil tests for you and make recommendations on how to resolve what’s needed.

2. Tilling the Soil

When tilling the soil there are some pros and some cons to this process, soil tilling allows needed nutrients for example nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium along with compost to be easily worked into the soil and boost the overall health of garden soil. Soil tilling benefits the soil by also helping to discourage soil compaction, allowing plant roots to grow vigorously, encouraging better airflow, and better uptake of water and nutrients, and can help to expose and eliminate soil-borne pests as well as weeds.

The negative side of soil tilling is can disrupt the soil structure, may accelerate surface runoff and soil erosion, brings dormant weed seeds to the surface to germinate, and can reduce soil organisms by exposing them to direct air and sunlight. Despite the negative side soil tilling still has its benefits and should be considered, when tilling your garden soil til down to about 7 to 12 inches. This process can be accomplished with a shovel or a garden tiller.

3. Soil Amendments

The addition of soil amendments is a great way to build and add nutrients to the soil, when it comes to soil amendments there are so many choices to choose from, some examples of soil amendments are compost, plant matter, earthworm casting, peat moss, organic fertilizers such as cow or chicken manure, horse manure, sheep and goat, rabbit manure. Before using animal manure make sure that’s its age because fresh manure will burn plants. Apply a 2 to 3-inch layer of manure to your soil and till to a depth of  7 to 12 inches, make sure that amendments are evenly distributed throughout your soil.

4. Wood Chips, Leaves, or Grass Clippings

A great way to add amendments to the soil without spending a dime is instead of bagging and trashing leaves that have been raked up or getting rid of grass clippings why not spread this free natural organic over your garden plant beds? As this natural organic breaks down will add nutrients to the soil, Wood chips can be applied at the base of trees. The beauty of wood chips is releasing nutrients for plant uptake and discourage weed germination.

5. Plant Cover Crops

The addition of plant cover crops will work wonders, examples of cover crops are sorghum, red wheat, alfalfa, clover, agricultural mustard, cereal or annual rye, or fava beans. When turning under, cover crops will return organic matter and nitrogen back into the soil, a word of caution here is when using this method ensure that the soil is warm enough so when you sow the seeds they will germinate.

Bonus Points Just for You

  • Before preparing your fall garden soil remove fallen fruits, fallen fruits will attract pests
  • Veggies that are performing poorly should be removed to discourage disease and pests
  • If tall weeds are present can be pulled and disposed of
  • Remove all other debris
  • Once you have amended the soil give it a good drink of water, this move will help to settle the soil along with allowing the added amendments to move and spread evenly throughout the soil
  • Avoid the use of diseased leaves and grass clippings, they should be disposed of

The final word on how to prepare soil for fall garden

Preparing your garden soil for the fall months is that simple, these methods will supercharge your soil to go to work for your garden plants, be good to your soil this fall by lending a helping hand. See for yourself and join the many that have started in their fall gardens by preparing their soil to grow healthy thriving plants. This fall make it happen, your soil and garden plants will greatly reward you.


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About the author

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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.