There is a lot of landscaping and gardening work that can be done in the fall of the year.
One of them is preparing for plantings which may not take place for weeks or even before spring.
Plowing, digging, or turning the soil in the fall is a proven method of having an area ready for spring planting. Incorporating lime or minerals into the soil before planting is usually a good thing, but adding nitrogen fertilizer beforehand is not recommended.
Also, for areas that can erode and wash away your loose soil, fall tillage is not recommended. Planting cover crops makes sense in such circumstances, but will delay spring planting if it is to be buried in the ground. Things like barley or wheat can just be mowed in the spring and you can start planting in the stubble.
Those who do not plan to dig or plow should consider other options to prevent weeds and grass from growing in areas where they wish to plant fruit trees, shade trees, or create a garden bed for early planting.
For some, the solution is to let it go, spray weedkiller in the spring and plant soon after.
Organic or natural treatments of future planting locations could include some of these options, using readily available materials:
Mulch: Cover your future planting area with mulch.
Compost: Applied thickly to smother weeds and grass. Chopped leaves and / or small branches that have been chopped or crushed – these make a great soil conditioner and as the leaves and branches break down they add a lot of nutrients to the soil and steal very little nitrogen from your plants. future trees or plants.
Obviously if you have manure, green sand or Azomite or rock phosphate these can be added under or over the mulch material. Rain and snow will carry many nutrients deeper into the soil and condition it for greater maneuverability and loosening in years to come.
If you are planting this fall, you may want to plant first and then add some of these treatments to your planted trees. Autumn plantings of all large shrubs and trees are highly recommended in our area – small plants not so much, because frost heaving can uproot them in winter.
Added a few more tips you should note; do not put mulch or compost directly against the bark of your new plant, very little or no mulch should rest against the trunk of your new tree or bush.
Do not use high nitrogen or quick release fertilizer in the fall, keep these applications until late winter or early spring when the sap starts to rise and the buds start to grow. swell for spring growth.
Fall treatments can also encourage new growth or the productivity of an old tree in many cases.
But, today’s topic is to prepare now for planting later. Adding minerals and organic matter to cover your future planting sites helps condition the soil for a better planting experience. And it’s easily raked when you’re getting ready to dig holes and plant later, which is especially useful if you plan on planting dormant bare-rooted trees or shrubs in early spring.
The author is a landscaper. You can reach him at [email protected] Web: www.rockcastles.net