Summer is winding down, but the garden is still a great place to spend your time. And, one could argue that Fall is an even better season for gardening! Whether planning for next year’s Spring crops or extending a backyard pastime, here are a few tips to make the most of outdoor activities.
If planting new herbs, vegetables or shrubs, it is best to remove old plants as they can attract pests and disease. Simply dig out the old annual bulbs and compost plants that do not show signs of blight. Before new planting, it is recommended to replenish the necessary nutrients with a generous helping of organic fertilizer or compost.
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Fall is also a good time to divide and move perennials. A garden fork makes short work of cutting through even-the-most-compacted dirt while a sharp knife or spade will make root separation much easier. Make sure to do this at least several weeks prior to the average first hard frost to give plants time to recover from transplant shock and establish new roots. A good resource to determine optimal planning time is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
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Mulching in the fall serves a few purposes: added protection from soil erosion and to block out light to decrease weed growth and adds organic matter to the soil which will help the garden be healthier in the spring. Seeds and transplants take off quickly in the warm soil if they have adequate water. To help retain soil moisture, surround seedlings with a thick layer of mulch. Finely shredded leaves or straw will keep soil moist while slowly contributing organic matter to the soil as they decompose.
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Another tip for a bountiful fall garden: harvest early and often. Frequent cutting stimulates continual new growth and increases chances to enjoy meals with new herbs and vegetables. Here are some that like cool weather:
- Parsley (flat Italian or curled)
- Brussels sprouts
- Lettuce & other salad greens
- Mustard greens
- Scallions (young onions)
Don’t forget to clean and maintain gardening tools. Also, clean out clay pots with a soft bristle brush. Remove any excess soil or dirt and store them in a dry place.
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Whether you’re a weekend gardening enthusiast, or a landscaping pro, Digz has a glove to match your needs. From planting to placing pavers to pruning, there’s a glove for you.