You’re up to your ears in the bounty of your vegetable garden right now, but did you know that what you do in the garden this fall determines how successful it is next year?
That’s right. The experts at Houzz say the way you care for your garden at the end of the season has a lot to do with how well it performs next season. In fact, they say, you’ll set yourself up for years of success if you take the time now!
The first step in the process is a delicious one: Finish harvesting what is growing now. If you’re overwhelmed by vegetables, Houzz suggests canning, freezing, or sharing the bounty of your garden. Some crops, like tomatoes, will continue to ripen after you pick them, so it’s OK if you pick fruit that’s not quite ready.
The next task is to clean out the plants and weeds. Healthy plants can be composted; anything that looks diseased should be thrown away so that you don’t spread the disease to next year’s garden. Use the same process for potted plants, and clean out the pots with a combination of water and vinegar, Houzz says.
Now it’s time to get your soil ready for next year because this year’s plants have tapped the soil of its nutrients. Start returning those nutrients to the soil with soil amendments or cover crops, Houzz says. Amendments include compost (either homemade or store bought) and organic fertilizers. Planting cover crops replenishes nutrients while also preventing erosion and suppressing weeds.
Houzz offers several more tasks that prepare your garden for spring. Check out the whole list here.
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