As we enter September, we can feel fall just around the corner. It may still be hot outside, but slowly and surely the days are growing shorter. For some, this means less time outdoors, or time spent in their gardens. However, the harvest season can still prove to be an excellent time to grow special fruits, vegetables, and of course, care for our flowers that will hibernate until the coming spring.
The start of the harvest season is the ideal time to get out into your garden and see your plants thrive in the late summer after the hottest days of the season have passed. This is not only a good time to plant new varieties of foods in your garden, but flowers as well. And as always, a great garden needs seasonal maintenance. To ensure the health of your garden throughout the winter and through the next growing season, take advantage of fall.
Check Your Bulbs
If you live in a particularly cold region, where ground hardiness and temperatures drop significantly, you should make sure to collect any cold sensitive bulbs from the ground. After they have finished their bloom, dig them up before the first frost is meant to take place. Clean the bulbs and place them in a paper bag, storing them in a cool, dry place.
Planting Before the First Frost
When you picture fall, you might be thinking squash, pumpkins, and falling leaves. Us gardeners love to think of perennials! Of course, we won’t see the efforts of planting perennials until the spring, but the work before the first frost will allow them to establish their root systems before winter begins. If you want to give your perennials the greatest chance to take root before it gets too cold, take care to establish the correct topsoil in your garden, so roots have a chance to take hold of the ground and survive harsh weather conditions.
Feed Your Lawn and Garden
As summer comes to an end, the majority of intense watering care is over. But the work isn’t over! As with perennials, now is the perfect time to feed your entire lawn. If you want to improve the health of your garden and surrounding greens, take the time before it cools down to weed out any plants or grasses that could be competing with that which you want to keep around for food and nutrients.
Test your soil right at the end of summer and beginning of fall to see where current pH is at. This will help you figure out what your soil is either too acidic or too alkaline and what you’ll need to feed it to create a greater balance. You should be doing this test in both your grassy areas as well in your garden. This is especially important if you have garden areas or garden boxes that are separated specifically to house different types of plants or produce.
Keep An Eye Out For Pests
You may think your main summer pest issues are behind you, but don’t put your guard down too low. If your harvest season plants and produce are being picked at by soft-bodied insects, consider using insecticidal soap or horticultural oils to rectify the pest problem. There’s a small window that makes these special soaps and oils most effective, and that’s before aphids and mealybugs have fully developed. The great part about using soaps and oils instead of other, harsher chemical sprays? They’re safe for you, and even your pets. If you have smaller harvest plants you’re keeping indoors during the chillier season, these sprays are also safe to use inside your home. Don’t worry about harming beneficial insects. These soap sprays are specifically meant to only harm bugs you wouldn’t want around your harvest foods.
Make the Most Out of Harvest Season
The harvest season is truly rewarding for gardeners, regardless of whether you’re solely preparing your garden for the coming spring, or taking advantage of hearty harvest season produce picking. Take advantage of the health of your garden before it becomes too chilly out.