As Fall approaches and most gardens are in their final stages, there are a few things to consider with regards to next year’s garden as well as possibly having some Fall crops this year.
Once your garden is finished for the season it’s time to begin considering applying nutrients to feed the soil for the next growing season.
I had an old farmer told me once that you cannot keep taking from the soil without putting something back. Basically, as the garden produces, the plants are feeding from the nutrients in the soil. This is normal, but it requires replacing these nutrients periodically.
In an effort to try to be as organic as possible, I suggest applying composted cow or horse manure. Most of us don’t have access to the neighborhood farm as a source. Thankfully, many garden centers and hardware stores can provide these products in easy to handle bags similar to bags of mulch. Prepared compost is also recommended as a great source of replenishing the nutrients in the soil. This can also be found at Garden Centers is convenient bags.
When Do You Replenish Soil?
Replenishing the soil should be done in the Fall or early Winter.
Natural Nutrition Sources
Another great natural source of nutrition are the fallen leaves from the trees each year. Unlike some natural choices, leaves do not necessarily require a period of time for composting before application. They can actually be applied in the Fall and worked into the soil with a tiller or by hand depending on the size of the garden. Over the Winter months the leaves break down and begin feeding the soil. Usually by the Spring planting time, the process is nearly complete and you will have a much happier garden.
Consider the PH level of the soil
One further consideration is the PH level of the soil, meaning the acidity level.
This can also be important and is frequently overlooked. Normally, your area extension agent can help with determining the PH level or at least provide some helpful information as to where to have the soil tested. Basically, it comes down to taking a small soil sample from the garden, small meaning less than a half pint, and sending it off to a test facility for analysis. This is normally Not expensive and sometimes offered as a free service in some localities. The time involved should be less than a week.
Once the PH level has been determined, it may be necessary to apply additives depending on the crops to be grown.
When growing Fall crops, it may be necessary to replenish only the part of the garden not being used at that time, and the following year plant the Fall crops in the already replenished area in order to feed the remaining part of the garden. This two year plan allows you to always have something growing if desired. If Fall crops are not part of the plan, then the entire garden can be done at once.
Don’t Feed The Hungry Wildlife
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