As Fall approaches, now is the time to check out your gardens and get them ready for the cold weather that’s around the corner.
Note to self: Put away the pink flamingos!
Gardening is not just for summer; taking care of your garden in autumn can help it survive the winter season and produce a healthy crop next year.
Fall Ohio Garden Tips for Better Results Next Year
These Fall Ohio garden tips will help you no matter what you plan in your yard: vegetable garden, flowers, trees and shrubs. The key is getting your gardens ready for the temperature drop!
Clean Up Vegetable/Herb Gardens
Once your vegetable and herbs dry up, that is a good time to start cleaning up. If you keep the plants in your garden, they could attract pests and disease that can harm your veggies and herbs next year. Tilling your garden is a great way to expose the dead plants and reveal any hidden pests like armyworms or grubs that may be lurking beneath – these creatures are active in the fall – so get them now.
While you are at it, remove and store away all of the stakes, cages, and labels for safe keeping over the winter to reuse in the spring next year.
Prepare Perennials for Winter
Many perennials will continue to grow until late fall when they finally go dormant. Remove all weeds around your perennials and any parts of those plants that look like they have been attacked by pests or show disease. Continue to water perennials until the first frost. Cover the crown of any newly planted perennials with 3-5″ of bark mulch once the ground freezes.
Plant Fall Crops
If your summer vegetable garden is spent, why not start again? Many vegetables will grow even better in cooler months like spinach, lettuce, kale, collard greens, beets, broccoli, carrots, mustard, arugula, onions, cauliflower, parsnips, garlic, and cabbage. It’s like a 2nd garden for your family. Just be sure to cover your plants when a frost is in the forecast and remove the cover during the day – we usually use old sheets to cover.
Plant a Cover Crop
Have you ever considered a cover crop? A cover crop can protect your gardens from erosion and weed growth. Planting crops like oats, spring wheat, hairy vetch, red clover, sweet clover, turnips, mustard, clover, peas, rapeseed, radishes, and triticale can add nutrients to the soil and also feed some wildlife over the winter.
Care for Trees and Shrubs
Fall is the best time to check on your shrubs and trees.If there is any soil around the base, cover with mulch. Adding new mulch around the base will protect the roots from our upcoming harsh winter – and it’s supposed to be a bad winter in Ohio! Don’t cover the actual trunk with mulch because that can cause rot and disease. Prune your shrubs once they start to go dormat.
If you want to add trees or shrubs to your yard, now is the time to plant while the ground is warm and the temperatures are getting cooler. 6 weeks before the 1st hard frost is best. We usually get our first frost October 1-15th, so now is the perfect time! As a general rule, planting trees or shrubs between now and November will give them a chance to get their roots established before winter sets in – the sooner the better.
Apply Fall Pre-Emergents
Fight weeds next year by applying a pre-emergent weed killer now. This helps control the weeds before they rise up to the ground. Do this once all your garden debris is gone – after your 2nd fall crops if you want that garden.
Apply Fall Fertilizer
You can add a fall fertilizer to your flower gardens. This will help your plants endure the cold winter we are soon to have. Similar to fall lawn care, many gardens and trees can benefit from fertilizer before winter sets in. Fall fertilizer is best applied in late fall before the first frost, as it will help plants endure the approaching cold temperatures.
The Lawnifi® Fall Fertilizer Box is a great brand to use. It has 3 bottles of liquid fertilizer in it that help your garden recover from the hot summer temperatures we’ve had here in Ohio, I still can’t believe how many 90° days we had and it’ll also help prepare those plants for the colder than ever winter we are forecasted to have. You can also use it a great fall fertilizer for lawns and gardens.
Lawnifi Foundation is a traditional granular fertilizer that you may be more used to, it’s a slow-release option that comes in a 25-pound bag and lasts for three months. Use it for gardens to protect the leaves and roots of plants and to lawns to promote a green, healthy yard.
I hope you use these tips and that they help you have an even better than ever garden next spring.
Following these simple fall garden maintenance tips will help your plants survive the cold temperatures of winter. Whether you plan on growing a cool season crop, or you simply want to protect your garden, this fall garden checklist will ensure a healthy, thriving garden next spring.
Check out more tips here.