Though the summer’s sun has yet to set over this area, some are already planning on what they want garden to look like when it emerges from its long winter’s nap in the spring. Many of them might be wondering what is the best thing to do this fall to make that happen.
Grayson County Extension Agent Marshall Tolleson said now is the time to be thinking about the spring garden and there are five things one can do to make it the best ever.
1. Think it through
The first thing a gardener can do to ensure a better garden in the spring is plan.
Make a list of what you want to grow. Learn what conditions those plants grow well in and find a spot in your garden with those conditions. Draw out a map of where things will go in your garden. Know the recommended planting dates and mark them on your calendar.
If you do this, you’ll avoid the two most pernicious pests in the garden, poor timing and poor placement.
2. Cover it up for now
Having something growing at all times helps keep nutrients at the top of the soil, and keeps your soil from washing away.
Cover crops also add organic matter, which lends to a healthy, productive soil.
3. Keep picking those weeds
The third thing is being proactive about keeping weeds out of your garden. Cover crops are an excellent cultural method of suppressing weeds as they tend to shade out newly emerged seedlings before they have a chance to become problem weeds.
A thick layer of mulch will accomplish the same thing. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide will keep the seeds in the soil from germinating without harming any standing plants. Any combination of the three practices in the fall will save you days of pulling weeds in the spring when it’s really too late.
4. Pick plants that rebound
When the heat of the summer is over, perennial plants like trees and shrubs have a much better chance of surviving being transplanted and have plenty of time to establish themselves before the first frost of the winter when warm season plants go dormant.
5. Continue to learn to grow
Go to a Master Gardener meeting.
Master Gardeners are a wealth of research based information coupled with years of experience gardening in Texoma. They know what works here and can’t wait to share their knowledge with others.
You can find out more about meeting times and events by looking up Grayson County Master Gardeners on Facebook or going to www.graysoncountymastergardeners.net