Fall Garden Preparation
As fall has come, it is time to prepare your trees, lawns and shrubs for winter. First of all, remove all spent plants, weeds and leaves. And do not forget about improvement of soil. Sandy or loamy soil does not need such preparation as clay soil. If the plants are watered and fed properly, improvement is not essential. But it is a good idea to use clean, disease-free and weed-free materials to improve the garden. Residues of clean and disease free plants can be turned into the soil.
Pine needles, leaves or weed-free grass clippings can be used as soil amendments. Mulch leaves and needles with mulching mower or a chipper are ideal when they are turned 3-4 inches into soil-beds. But avoid using walnut leaves, because they can be too hard for some plants, especially vegetables. Having done in fall, such procedure gives organic matter a lot of time to decompose and prepare soil for spring.
To get ready the garden for winter, start from weeding. Final weeding is an excellent idea, because some weeds come back strong after winter if they were left in the garden. To prevent it, some gardeners plant garlic and farmers plant winter wheat. This procedure does not give weeds an advantage to come back as soon as snow leaves the ground.
Fall is also a great time to use calcium for improvement of the soil. Calcium is an excellent foundation of the feeding program. This nutrient is as essential as nitrogen. But calcium works well only in the root zone of the plants. It does not move far.
As the garden is not dug up every year, a root feeder is advisable to use. It makes possible for trees, grass, shrubs and vines to get more minerals. When spreading calcium or slow-release fertilizer on the surface of the soil, scratch them in using a hoe or a rake. Then water them. If water has already been turned off for winter, do not worry. Melting snow will take these fertilizers down into the plants' root zone.
And finally, watch the weather! Take tender herbs inside or into the covered area in case of early frosts or storms.