Your first #fall gardening task should be to make an honest assessment of what worked and what didn’t, Proven Winners says, to create a plan for next year. Then, remove annuals from containers and landscapes and store pots away for winter. Still-warm soil promotes healthy root growth, however, so this is a good time to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs. You can also divide perennials and cut them back, but leave the pruning for spring. Most of the excess foliage can go in a compost pile, but be alert to disease and infestation — you don’t want to risk reintroducing blight into your garden next spring. #FallGardeningTips
To prepare your lawn for cooler temperatures and help it thrive next year, rake large quantities of fallen leaves to keep them from choking grass off from the sun, Better Homes & Gardens says. Seed or sod any bare spots. Aerate high-traffic areas to loosen compacted soil and pull weeds, which can get established as other plants start to die off for the winter. Raise the mower blade to encourage root growth. Finally, this is the best time of year to feed common cool-weather turf grasses, experts say, which can result in earlier earlier greening and an improved appearance in the spring. #FallGardeningTips
#Mulching is often a job that #gardeners perform in the #spring to maintain their beds’ moisture, keep weeds at bay and retard erosion. But many landscaping professionals also advise mulching in the #fall for the same purposes, HGTV says. Adding #mulch in the fall insulates the soil to provide a warm environment for earthworms and microbes that improve soil, and it insulates plant roots, which can protect seedlings that are still getting established. Plus, mulching in the fall may save you time during the busy spring planting season — and the weather likely won’t be as hot and sticky when you do it. #FallGardeningTips
With the start of #fall last weekend, many #home #gardeners across the country are starting to see their vegetable harvests slow and their flowers start to fade. That means it’s a good time to clean up and prep the #garden for the next growing season. First, remove any plants that show signs of weakness or disease, says EarthEasy, and any invasive weeds. Then, allow the healthy plants to die and decay naturally to enrich your soil. You may also choose to plant a cover crop such as rye, clover or barley and till those plants under in the spring to return valuable nutrients to the soil for all of your plantings. #FallGardeningTips
For many people, there’s nothing like growing your own food. It’s healthy, cost-effective, #sustainable and above all, delicious! And if you followed some of The Organizing Blog’s previous #gardening tips, you’re probably drowning in fresh summer produce right now.
What to do with all of those garden-fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, melons, peaches and other delicacies is the question. If you’re anything like us, you planted with abandon eight to 10 weeks ago, and now must do whatever you can to make the most of that fresh produce.
One way is to share some of that bounty with friends, family and neighbors who don’t have the same amount or variety of produce. Whether they have the space or the ambition to grow their own fresh food or not, nobody is going to turn their nose up at a ripe heirloom tomato.
Another way to take advantage of summer’s bounty is to try a new recipe (or several). Base your meal plan on whatever produce you have in abundance, and you may wind up discovering a dish that you can revisit again even in the off-season.
Speaking of the off-season, there are plenty of ways to keep and store some of that produce for cloudier and colder days. Too many tomatoes? Make and freeze some marinara for a lasagna. Got lots of corn? Cut it off the cob and freeze the kernels in bagged portions for anytime use.
Many summer fruits and vegetables can be processed, portioned and frozen quickly for later use including peaches, plums, watermelon and peppers. Got bumper crop of basil? Make pesto ice cubes and pull one out any time you need to flavor a pasta or meat dish.
Freezing summer produce can make it last up to six months, but if you really want to put things up like the pioneers, try your hand at home canning. It’s simpler than it sounds, and you can make tons of sauces, pickles and jams that you can tap into for months — or give as gifts.
Even if you didn’t grow your own fruits and vegetables this year, don’t let summer’s bounty go to waste. Visit a local farmers market to get some of the freshest, healthiest foods you’ll taste all year. (And get enough to share!)