A utumn S teps for a B etter S pring G arden PREPARE YOUR GARDEN
KEEP YOUR GARDEN TIDY
With fall just ahead, it’s a good time to think about your spring garden. For a beautiful garden next year, begin preparing this fall. Here are a few ways to get a head start!
Once you’ve harvested your best fruits and vegetables, go back through and harvest the rest, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Make sure your garden is clear of old vegetables, fallen leaves, and weeds. Leaving decaying plants in or on top of the ground can spread diseases into the soil and attract unwanted pests to your garden.
If you want beautiful flowers in April, you should start planting bulbs now. Many flower bulbs need to be in the ground before winter settles in; this helps activate the bulbs’ biochemical process that allows them to bloom. Getting the bulbs into the ground before it freezes allows their roots to grow deep enough to protect them from the biting winter weather. Among the flower bulbs you should plant soon are tulips, daffodils, irises, and hyacinths.
Pulling up weeds and all of your vegetables can help keep the earth free from rotting plants, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your soil stays full of nutrients. Pick up a kit to test the pH levels of your soil. Most gardens thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5. Add compost to your soil supply now to give it time to break down during the winter months.
After you’ve planted your bulbs, there’s a risk that uninvited guests will dig them up. There are a few ways you can ensure that your bulbs remain undisturbed throughout the fall. One way is to place chicken wire over your bulbs after they’ve been planted. This keeps rodents from digging them up and allows the plants to grow through the gaps in the wire.
to Tim Saul and his family on the birth of their daughter, Amelia Saul. Born June 23, 2018, at 11:16 p.m. 6 pounds, 2 ounces, 20 inches long
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