Fall Garden Prep

Tplanting-your-first-vegetable-garden-apphe cooler weather and fewer insects make for a pleasant fall garden clean up. Now is the time to plan ahead for next year’s spring garden. What should you do to get your garden ready for the next year? We’ve got a few to-do’s that will help get you movin’ and ready for the fall!

1) It’s Checklist Time

While ideas are fresh on your mind, make a checklist of do’s and don’ts for next year. A map on an index card of your present garden will be very helpful for next year’s plantings. This will aid in your vegetable crop rotation, remembering where you planted your perennials and favorite spots for annual flowers.

2) Start A Compost pile.

Compost binAny garden debris that is NOT infected or diseased can be added to your pile.

Add a compost additive to ensure that your compost will be ready in the spring. “Ringer 3050 Compost Plus” is found in the garden isle at Koopman lumber. This compost maker contains a blend of microorganisms with specially designed nutrient sources that start the compost process quickly and efficiently. Compost Plus contains all of the necessary organisms and nutrients to start composting.

To learn how to make a compost pile from scratch, why not check out our blog on the matter?

3) Cut back your perennials… But not all.

Here is a list of some perennials which are best to NOT prune in the fall. Leave them be and prune them next spring:

  • Artemesia
  • Asclepias (Butterfly Weed)
  •  aster-flower_0Asters
  • Astilbe
  • Balloon flower
  • Basket-of-gold
  • Bleeding heart (fringed leaf)
  • Campanula
  • Cardinal flower
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Echinacea (purple coneflower)
  • Foam flower
  • Foxglove
  • Geum
  • Globe Thistle
  • Heuchera ( Coral Bells)
  • Hosta
  • Lambs Ear
  • Lavender
  • Lupine
  • Mums(chrysanthemum)
  • Oriental poppy
  • Pincushion (Scabiosa columbaria)Sedum-Autumn-Joyweb11
  • Purple coneflower(echinacea)
  • Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)
  • Russian sage
  • Sedum
  • Tickseed ( coreopsis)
  • Valarian
  • Wand-flower (Gaura)

This is the list of perennials to cut down in the fall AFTER a KILLING FROST , so as not to promote new growth:

  • Astilbe
  • Bearded irisbee-balm-double-deck_500
  • Bee Balm
  • Blanketflower
  • Cat Mint ( Nepeta)
  • Columbine
  • Daylily
  • Golden Marguerite daisies
  • Hardy Begonia
  • Japanese Anenome
  • (Helianthus)
  • Hollyhock
  • Ligularia
  • Mountain Bluet (Centaurea Montana)
  • Painted Daisy
  • Peony
  • main-pink-peony-0410-mPhlox (tall)
  • Plume Poppy
  • Salvia
  • Sneezeweed
  • Solomon’s Seal
  • Veronica
  • Wild or False Indigo
  • Yarrow

4) Pull-up Declining and Dead Annuals.

sad dead flowerHarvest everything above the ground in the vegetable garden and under fruit trees. Whatever is NOT diseased add to your compost pile because recycling is great. While you are at it, clean up other areas around your yard.

Doing it now will make it easier and less time-consuming come the busy spring time. Trust us, you’ll thank us in the spring!

5) Organize, Empty and Clean Your Containers and Tools.

clean your garden toolsAn easy way to disinfect containers and tools is by spraying them with a bleach cleaner. Yep, it’s that easy!

Sharpen and oil your tools before storage, especially your abused hand pruners! Remove all caked on soil from your shovels

6) Bring in container plants that are still looking good.

You can enjoy them in front of a sunny window for a few more weeks if they’re perrennials, or pull the annuals and use them as a nice centerpiece in a vase.

7) There is Still More Planting to do!

Replanting-New-Grass-Seed-700x466Before the ground freezes, plant flowering bulbs, rhubarb and garlic.

Fall is also a great time to plant grass, trees, and shrubs. Don’t forget to water them! If you want to learn more about planting grass in the fall, make sure to read our blog here on the matter!

8) There is also still more weeding to do!

Just when you thought you were done! Weed now while the conditions are poor for the weeds to fill back in. This will help cut down on the weed problems in the spring. Really get in there and jack them out by the roots if you can, otherwise you’re just maintaining them. Let’s get rid of them!

9) Til, Test, and Amend Your Soil.

wheelbarrow-compost-pitchforkYou know what garden beds love? Compost and Manure. Why not give them an end of the year treat and enrich them for the next year by giing them just that! Just spread an even layer on any exposed soil. Til it in or let the materials lie on top depending on the manufacturer recommended usage. An added bonus is tilling exposes insects and puts them in view of the hungry birds!

“After the ground freezes, I like to spread a fertilizer such as Scotts 10-10-10 over my beds . The snow, freezing and thawing will work it into the soil for me!” – Koopman Employee

9) Gather Flowers for Drying, Seed Heads and Herbs.

gathering-seed-headsThe annual last hurrah in the garden is always the collection process. If you’re the type of person to make crafts from dried flowers or like to flatten them for preservation then now is your time to shine. Before you do, though, let’s give those annuals a shake down.

Get a seed container (also known as Tupperware or an envelope) and shake your flower heads out to release healthy seeds. Think of it like a soda machine that ate your dollar, and you know that if you just give it a few good shakes that soda will fall right out. Well so will the seeds. You have to be a bit more gentle with the flowers (obviously) but the rewards are worth the effort! Even a tiny garden can yield an entire garden’s worth of seed for the next year!

10) Make a bouquets

flowers vase tablelastly, make a beautiful bouquet for yourself what is left in your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor. As mentioned earlier making a nice centerpiece can be a beautiful addition to any home, and a great conversation piece at holiday parties. “Oh that? Just a few flowers from my garden, they came in great this year. Let me tell you about that time…”

Wrap Up

Spring is just around the corner! Well maybe not that close, but it’ll be spring before you know it. Make sure you get all your year end knick-knacks from Koopman Lumber before you miss your timing window! We have everything the aspiring home gardener, or the tenured garden vet needs to have a great garden year after year. Visit us online today at koopmanplants.com!