Although it seems too soon to start thinking about next spring during fall, it's an ideal time to prepare soil for next season's garden now. Amending soil in the fall is one of the best ways to reinvigorate your soil and make sure it is in prime condition next spring. You'll have better and prepped soil in spring as it recuperates over the winter.
Even though you can add amendments to soil during springtime, there are a few reasons why you should consider doing this task in the fall.
- It's easier to amend soil in the fall. The earth is still workable and warm in the fall, making it easier to till and add oxygen which encourages root growth and nutrient flow. Use a tiller like the Colt FT Garden Tiller to help you to break apart the soil and turn it over, allowing it to breathe.
- Your soil will be much healthier when spring arrives. When adding compost or amendments to soil in the fall, you are giving it time to break down and soak in all the nutrients, so it repairs itself and is ready and strong for planting.
- You'll save time during the busy planting season. By the time spring arrives, you'll have a long laundry list of to-do's to get the garden back in shape - weeding, mulching, inspecting garden beds, upgrading garden tools and seeding to name a few. Save time next year, prep garden soil now and it will be refreshed and renewed by the time spring rolls around.
If you've never amended soil before or need a refresher on how it's done, follow these simple tips:
- Pull all weeds from your garden beds to prevent them from germinating in the winter and taking over in the spring. While you're clearing the weeds out, gather all plant debris and fallen leaves to prevent insects and diseases that could grow and harm plants. Remember, you can save leaves and use them as an insulator for your soil during the winter, incorporate into compost or use as mulch in the spring.
- Next, conduct a soil test. Send a sample of your soil to a lab to uncover detailed levels of PH and macronutrients. This way you'll know if your soil has any deficiencies that can be addressed to restore the soil composition.
- Whether you use additives, manure or compost to amend, remember to spread it evenly and apply one to two inches to the top of beds to resupply the soil with nutrients. If you have a generous amount of material, use a garden tiller to help incorporate the matter it into your soil more evenly.
Talk to any experienced gardener and they'll tell you how important healthy soil is, as it allows your garden to thrive and support your plants in the spring. By amending soil in the fall, you'll be set up for a successful spring planting season.