Friday we suggested the first five of our fall gardening chores list. If you do those five alone, you’re on your way to a good start next spring. Here are five more to make next year’s garden, your best ever.
- Take care of the lawn. The University of Minnesota recommends one fall application of fertilizer, which you should have done by now. Continue to mow the lawn through the month of October, although you may not have to do it very frequently.
- Plant some bulbs for the bees. There’s been a lot written over the past few months about the declining bee populations in the United States, possibly due to insecticide use. If you want to help the bees, plant crocus in your yard or garden this fall. Plant as much as you can in great big swathes. Crocus (along with dandelions) are one of the earliest nectar sources for bees and help them survive the lean days of spring. Besides helping the bees, you will see a sea of beauty in the spring.
- Clean up the vegetable garden. You may still have a few hardy greens or squash in the ground, but everything else can be cleaned up in the vegetable garden. Harvest squash or pumpkins and let them cure before placing them in long term storage.
- Take some pictures. Why take pictures of your garden now? Having a record of what your garden looked like will help you plan for next year. Are there areas that didn’t look as good as you liked? Consider how you could change them next year by moving plants around or adding something now. While this season’s successes and failures are fresh in your mind, make a quick list of what you definitely want to grow next year and what you’ll skip.
- Start a new bed. Are you thinking of expanding your gardens next year? Fall is a great time to start a new bed using the lasagna method. You can find lots of videos and websites describing how to create a lasagna garden. Here’s how I did it a few years ago. Just one note on lasagna gardening: None of the sites I’ve reviewed emphasize enough how much water you need to do this. Completely soak every single layer, then let it sit over winter while you plan your new garden bed.
What chores will you be doing this weekend?