Think Spring in the Fall to Get the Most Out of Your Garden
CLEVELAND, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Although spring is still technically two seasons away, it’s important to start thinking about where your garden is headed next season right now. Spending a little more time preparing your garden and tools in the fall can save time next spring and yield a more fruitful gardening season.
“A perfect garden actually starts in the fall,” said Heidi Ketvertis, director of marketing communications for Troy-Bilt(R), a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. “With a little extra preparation now, you can create a better environment for flower and vegetable to growth in the spring.”
Creating a checklist can help organize all gardening activities and make the list more manageable. Troy-Bilt offers a few must-do items to ensure your yard and tools reap the benefits next spring.
- Keep a gardening journal – Take note of your successes and failures of this year’s garden. Survey the landscape and make note of what changes you’d like to make for next year.
Till your soil - Fall is the best time to start tilling because it ensures the advantages of tilling well in advance and perpetuates earlier spring planting. There are three main advantages to tilling your garden in the fall.
- Tilling in plant residue from your current garden reduces the risk of insect infestation.
- Winter allows time for any organic matter present or added to the soil to fully decompose.
- Snow trapping also occurs during the winter and creates more moisture in the soil. Adding nutrient-rich materials, such as compost, peat moss and leaves, to the soil, will insulate it and allow for a faster start in the spring.
If you have a medium-sized garden, try the Troy-Bilt Bronco(TM) CRT Garden Tiller or for a smaller area, try using the TB154 Electric Cultivator available at www.troybilt.com, Lowe’s(R) and your local, authorized Troy-Bilt dealer. Click here to learn more about how to till your garden.
- Prep your lawn equipment – Change the oil in your lawn mowers, string trimmers and edgers before winter arrives. Also, empty the gas tank or add a gas stabilizer to ensure the gas doesn’t become gummy and clog the carburetor.
Plant spring flowers - Start planting spring bulbs before the ground freezes because they need a period of cool temperatures to get them to flower. Plant these flowers in the fall to enhance your spring garden.
- Crocus – Crocuses bloom in early spring and grow four to six inches tall. Plant the corms four inches deep in early fall in average garden soil. Place them in groups of six or more in the front or borders of your beds.
- Grecian Windflower – As part of the anemone family, the Grecian windflower blooms in early spring with pink, blue or white flowers. Plant the tubers in two to three inches of well-drained soil that has lots of organic material.
- Hyacinths – Hyacinths bloom in the mid-spring most everywhere except in northern New England. Colder regions should store these bulbs indoors during the winter, while warmer areas can begin to plant bulbs in mid-autumn. Hyacinths should be placed nine inches apart and four to six inches deep.
- Force bulbs – If you prefer to have your spring bulbs sooner rather than later, forcing bulbs is the way to go. Most spring bulbs can be forced in containers, hyacinths are especially easy to force to bloom indoors.
- Clean up your plants – Trim back or divide your perennials. Pull out your annuals, such as petunias, geraniums and most vegetables, along with any weeds and dispose of them in a compost pile. Weeds are a perfect addition to your compost pile, but don’t add weeds that have gone to seed because they will cause more weeds to grow next year.
- Start a compost pile – Dry leaves, old annuals and discarded weeds are great starters for a compost pile. Not only does it keep your garden healthy by providing nutrients, but it also prevents waste material from building up in landfills. Click here for instructions on how to create a compost pile.
- Sharpen your tools – Add clean oil, such as motor oil or vegetable oil, to a bucket of sand and stick the sharp end of your tools in and out of the bucket several times in order to sharpen the blade. Cover the bucket to keep for next year.