Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Garden Chores

 Signs of fall in my garden and yard are the return of the deer in my orchard and when my maple leaves and Virginia creeper start turning colors.  Fall with all its beauty is somewhat unpredictable in Utah.  We can have beautiful warm days then a cold chilly day warning you that winter is not too far off.  

Beautiful buck posing for the camera!  I usually have 3 or 4 hang out during hunting season.  This one was with one smaller buck and a doe and two older fawns.  Absolutely gorgeous.

The maple turning in the front yard.

 I still have veggies in the garden being harvested and a few fall crops but it is definitely time to clean out the garden and prepare for winter. 

Garden Chores:

  • Remove all spent plants including fallen leaves.
  • If you planted beans to harvest dry, cut the plants off at ground level.  Leaving the roots of nitrogen fixing legumes gives you the full benefits of these amazing plants.  To attain the benefits of the nodules of rhizobium bacteria you need to separate the vegetative part of the plant and allow the roots to decay in the soil.  I inter-plant lots of dried beans with summer crops for this purpose as well as for the harvest of dried beans.
  • Remove all weeds.
  • Spread a layer of compost, composted manure, or fresh grass clippings on the surface.  You can grow turf without chemicals. Growing a Lawn Organically  Use only chemical free clippings on your garden.
  • If you are done watering, drain and store any water pipes that do not need to remain in the garden through winter.
  • If you are growing fall and winter crops be sure to have row covers and a low tunnel in place to protect your crops. Below are some links to help you out with extending the season.

Celery hanging out with Marigolds

Chard which sweetens up with cool weather.

Kohlrabi planted in late August for a fall harvest.

Mustard greens for fall harvests.

Landscape Chores

  • Weed all flowers beds, around perennials, shrubs, and trees.
  • Cut spent flowers unless you want them for winter interest
  • Mulch around plants.  Mulch is anything that can be placed around plants on top of the soil to reduce water loss, prevent weeds, and insulate plants in the winter.  Organic mulches are the best option.  These could include compost, aged manure, fine pine wood chips, leaves, or grass clippings. 
  • Trees and shrubs need to go into the winter watered.  The moist soil acts like an insulator protecting roots from freezing.  Usually if you do one last watering around Thanksgiving that prepares them for winter.
  • Drain water systems 

I love these pale yellow marigolds.

I'm still enjoying the beauty of the season but with the size of my gardens I have to start now so I'm finished before its too cold to work outside.  These fall chores will ensure you are prepared to plant when the time is right and save you work in early spring.


Tomatoes are still coming.

Pineapple tomato a beautiful and delicious heirloom.

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