As the nights are finally getting cool down here, I am reminded of those end of the season duties we green thumbs all have to keep up with. Even if you aren’t “turning in the gloves” and can grow veggies year around, these tasks are still a good idea to keep yourself organized and to avoid last-minute panicking in the Spring. So here it goes, my thoughts on what we should be doing right now to prepare for a successful garden next year.
1. Clean out finished or dried-up plants so as not to encourage pests or diseases to become a problem in the Spring. Especially if you’ve “let it go” during the hot summer months. Do any necessary weeding as well (I know, funnnn!)
2. If you grow your own starter plants or use containers, take an inventory of your supplies and order more if necessary Supplies – i.e. – potting soil, seed starting mix, plant food, Jiffy Pots, cell paks, trays, pots
3. Clean your tools before you put them away for the year. I know it’s a pain, but your efforts spent now will reward you later. Replace anything that has “served its duty” and may not be safe to use anymore.
4. Get any necessary tune-ups done on gas or electric-powered equipment, such as tillers, trimmers, or lawn mowers. I know that sounds like lawn care, not garden care; but in most cases your garden is probably surrounded by your yard.
5. Add amendments to your soil to improve it for next year. Your soil level may have dropped down some depending on use and rainfall. Adding organic material such as compost or manure is never a bad investment.
6. Get a soil test done to see where your soil is on required nutrients or pH level.
7. Order your Spring seed catalogs now! Seed and plant inventories may be limited in the Spring for certain varieties, so remember the “early green thumb bird catches the worm.”
8. The BEST part… Start planning your Spring garden! Grab your favorite beverage, sit in your easy chair and get pumped for next year’s Victory Garden. Think about this year’s successes and failures. Ask yourself… what did well? what things need to be improved? Feel the inspiration that happens pouring over your seed catalogues and books. If you were diligent enough to keep a log or diary, review your notes.
Go to it!