Gardening Mistakes You Make Every Autumn

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For those of us who love our home grown vegetables, have a green thumb, and enjoy rolling up their sleeves and playing in the dirt, fall is most likely the time of year when your garden begins to get out of hand. After months of TLC, you get a bit lazy and let things go to seed and weeds.

What many don’t realize is a little time in the fall will save a lot of time in early spring.  You will have a happier, healthier garden for your autumn effort.

Don’t Stop Weeding

The winter cold will not kill the weeds or their seeds, in fact weeds often set their seeds in the fall months. Yank those guys now before they come back with their little family in the spring.

Do Cut Back Perennial Grasses

Cut back dead foliage on your perennials in the fall because most of them grow from the ground up. It is easier to do it now.  In the early spring, new growth gets in the way.

Don’t Prune Your Bushes in the Fall

Cutting back branches in the fall causes your plant to put its energy into re-growing just when it should be conserving resources by going dormant for winter. This may weaken the plant to the point where it won’t make it through the cold weather. Late winter or early spring is better when the plants are already dormant.

Don’t Leave Leftovers to Decay

Some people leave rotting plants and inedible vegetables in place, thinking they will just reseed next year.   This may cause diseases to ride out the winter in your garden as well as safe-haven and meals for diseases and insects that would love to visit your garden again next year.

You Don’t Plant Your Spring Bulbs

Those bold and beautiful spring bulbs need a long period of cold weather to initiate the process that causes them to bloom and time to develop roots. Planting in spring does not give the same results as getting them in the ground in the fall.

You Forget To Divide Your Perennials

Most perennials need to be divided in the fall to invigorate the plant and keep them blooming. Additionally, when you divide the parent, you can plant the babies in other areas of the garden or give them to friends.  Not all perennials need splitting and some of them should never be divided.

You Stop Planting Too Early

Don’t forget about the fall crops like spinach, lettuce, kale, and radishes to extend your growing season.  They have short growing season so they’ll be edible before a heavy frost hits.

You Don’t Plant a Cover Crop

Cover crops like clover and buckwheat can be intentionally planted to restore nutrients to the soil and suppress weed growth. Plan to get them in the ground about four weeks before the first frost to give them a chance to mature.