September is here and for many this after the harvest time is one of well deserved rest. Fall is but hours away and the gardening season in my area is coming to a close. Unless you have a green house or some sort of sheltered growing system, the short days combined with the cooler weather means not much will be inclined to grow. All living things need a rest and our plant life needs rest too. After the harvest, if you are like me, your back and knees could use a chance to rest up before snow shoveling needs to be done.
There are some garden tasks to be taken care of before you call it over.
Clean and store all tools where they belong.
Don’t you just hate looking for your favorite trowel or rake in the spring? If you store it in a designated garden tool area, finding it in the spring will be easy. If it was cleaned before it was stored, the tool will have a longer life too.
Clean up the Debris
Pull out all dead stalks and remove the tomato cages, any support stakes, and pieces of debris. Not only does it make it much easier to get started in the early spring, it makes your yard or garden area look cared for and well tended.
After the Harvest is a Good Time to Fortify the Soil
Now is the best time to add to your dirt. Consider getting your soil analyzed and add the nutrient material that is needed. Soil is where the garden gets it nutrition during the growing season. Adding the correct compost or fertilizers now will give you a head start on the spring garden.
Place any potted perennials in a protected area.
A lot of my herbs are perennial and they have overwintered for a few years now. First I cut the growth back some, This allows the plant to rest. Then, I place the pots on top of a large table in our sun porch, (protect the table surface with a tarp or water proof covering. I am not very good at remembering the plants during the winter. Occasionally I would add a little water, but usually they remained sort of dry.
Planning for next spring!
Gardeners love pouring over the garden supply and seed catalogs which will be in your mailbox soon. Everyone has their favorites. Not being a very solid gardener myself, I like to read the how to tips and dream about how wonderful it would be to grow a great crop of some exotic fruit.
It might help you when planning your next year’s garden to make a list of what you planted this year. Make notes about the different types of beans, tomatoes, peppers etc. Write notes so that you don’t order seeds for next year if you did not particularly like a type of vegetable.
Keep Good Records
And of course write down which vegetables did extremely well for you. Keeping track of this will help you plan the future gardens.
I also like to note where I planted each variety of vegetables. I like to think I will remember but I usually don’t. It’s good to rotate the plants around your space to make sure you don’t deplete the nutrients in one spot.
What did you use for pest control? This year, I had a lot of good luck with organic pest control products. Until I didn’t and then nothing would take effect. Next year I need to be more on top of this situation if I want to continue to use only organic pest control. I am tired of sharing our vegetables with the bugs.
As you can see, there are still plenty of garden tasks to do, even in the off season. So grab your gardening notebook and get started planning!
September is National Organic Harvest Month and to help you make the most of your harvests, I’ve teamed up with these other amazing bloggers. Please be sure to check out their tips and more: Rachel from Grow a Good Life – Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living – Teri from Homestead Honey – Chris from Joybilee Farm – Susan from Learning and Yearning – Shelle from Preparedness Mama – Angi from SchneiderPeeps – Janet from Timber Creek Farm