Every year, spring brings happy thoughts of working the garden. It also brings regrets that you didn't do a little fall prep work. Sure, you were ready for a gardening break then. Still, you could have made it easier on yourself by taking care of a few things before the snow fell. What can you do to make next year different? What are some fall tasks that make spring gardening less work?
Tear up that veggie garden.
By fall, you're pretty tired of the labor end of gardening. Don't be tempted to leave your vegetable garden to rot. In spring, the ground will be hard. It's much easier to dig up those dead plants in the fall. While you're at it, give the soil a good till. This will insure you've cleared all the roots and weeds. Next year, you can start fresh with less soil preparation to worry about.
Get the heavy work out of the way.
You promised yourself you'd clear that rock pile or grind that stump in the spring. Why wait? You know next year you'll be too busy planting and planning to take care of it. Then, when summer hits, you won't want to sweat it out in the hot sun doing labor intensive projects. Get all the heavy lifting and labor out of the way in the fall instead. That way, you can concentrate on actual gardening in spring and summer.
It's pretty hard to envision next year's lawn and garden with all that trash in the yard. Why not get rid of it now? You know you'll never refinish those old chairs. You will? OK. Do it now. Otherwise, give them to someone who will. The unwanted items you clear from the yard will give you more space to work into your fall garden plans.
Till it up, mark it off, lay it out
Fall garden planning doesn't happen all on paper. Why not take those plans and use them to mark off your yard for next year's floral plantings? Better yet, give the soil in all your new planting areas a preliminary till, just like you did in the current veggie garden. You'll have to till in your compost and amendments in the spring. Still, the soil will be much easier to work.
Lift your bulbs.
Got floral displays involving spring bulbs? Why use the same space every year? You have to thin the bulbs anyway. Why not simply lift all your spring bulbs? You can store them in a cool dry place over the winter. In the spring, you can create brand new floral displays. Meanwhile, don't forget to plant a few fall bulbs each year and thin (or move) the old ones.
Does this all sound like too much work?
Think about doing it in the spring when you're much busier in the garden. Wouldn't it be better to get it out of the way now?
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.