Get your garden ready for winter

It’s fall already! Colorful leaves, crisp air, blankets, coffee… And a bit of work in the garden to prepare for the cold months and guarantee a lovely spring.

fall

Plant bulbs that will flower in spring

Now it’s the time to plant those bulbs that will be in bloom by spring, and will make us all fall in love. I’m talking about tulips (Tulipa sspp.), daffodils (Narcissus sspp.), muscari (Muscari armeniacum), lilies (Iris sspp.), crocus (Crocus sspp.), alium (Allium sspp.), hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis)…

A few quick tips:

  • Choose an adequate bulb for your garden’s type of soil and weather (most bulbs won’t flower if it doesn’t get cold enough during winter)
  • Tips facing up (they sprout at the tip)
  • Follow the instructions about depth and space between bulbs when planting (they vary depending on the species)
  • Make sure that the bulbs are healthy (no holes, mushy parts or very dark spots)
muscari
“Muscari armeniacum” being awesome.

Prepare the soil

Remove all dead weeds from the soil. Dead vegetation can be a source of pests and diseases that will affect your spring planting. You can make compost with healthy weeds, but avoid the rest, as pests and diseases can spread to the compost.

tulip
Tulip about to flower.

Fertilize, amend and cover

Mix compost with the soil to improve fertility. If you use compost now, it’ll be decomposed by spring, releasing all its nutrients.

If you think that soil may need any particular amendment (I’m talking about minerals: macro and micronutrients), now it’s the time to run a test on it and apply fertilizers.

Finally, cover the soil with mulch to protect it from weeds, erosion and from being washed out by rain. If you have many deciduous trees, you can use the leaves as mulch. Plus, they look awesome.

Get seeds

You can keep the seeds of may annual plants once they wilt, so that you can use them the following year. Experiment!

seeds

Take field notes

Did you have any pest this year? Where did you grow each plant? Taking notes is a great way of starting planning for spring and make the most out of your garden.

Take care of machines and fixtures

If you live in a very cold place with lots of snow, make sure you drain all the irrigation systems and store the hoses for next year. Devices such as programmers should be stored too if they aren’t made to endure the elements.

Enjoy sweater weather!

Feel the cold wind in your face, smell the rain, get all muddy, take hot showers, read books, drink teas, pick up mushrooms… Ahh gotta love the cold months!

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