It’s fall, y’all!
Just in case you needed another to-do list to add to your Monday morning, or you just wanted to avoid your other adult responsibilities (raises hand), here are a few things to do in the garden before colder weather arrives.
1. Take some photos
I know, I know. This is exactly what you’d expect from the Instagrammer, right? But seriously, taking some photos is the perfect way to document and remember what worked and what didn’t this year. Print your pics out or categorize them on your phone so you can refer back to them when you’re setting things up, ordering seeds, or making plans for your 2020 garden.
2. Take some notes
If you haven’t already, take a few notes on all that’s happened in the garden over the last few months. What were your favorite plants? Which ones gave you lots of harvests, which ones disappointed you?
For me, I had loads of success with my Black Cherry and Sungold tomatoes but wasn’t impressed with my cucumbers. And I had a huge challenge with cabbage loopers this year on my kale. Every season you’ve passed through will help guide you for the next. But, believe me: you’ll forget these lessons if you don’t take a few minutes to reflect on all that’s happened.
3. Harvest all you can
Before frost or colder weather hits, get out and harvest all you can from the garden. Particularly important is to gather warmer weather harvests like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and basil. These plants will slow down significantly with less sunshine and cooler temps (and the plants can start to take on disease-boo!). So grab your harvest basket and pick, pick, pick.
One way to use up your harvest is to dehydrate your fruit when you’ve picked too much for fresh eating. You can dehydrate fruit in an electric dehydrator or simply by placing in the oven at a low temperature (around 250 degrees) for four or so hours.
4. Clean up debris & treat pests
Raking isn’t just for the trees; it’s also important to rake around your kitchen garden plants too. Don’t allow fallen or diseased leaves to remain on the surface of your garden for long. By clearing the soil area, you can uncover pests that are planning on overwintering in your garden and ensure a much healthier garden for winter or spring, depending on when you’re ready to plant again.
5. Pot up plants to bring indoors
If you’re in a warmer climate, you may be able to overwinter some of your plants like eggplant and pepper right there in your garden (this is certainly true for our Rooted Garden clients). But if you’re in a cooler spot that will have frost and/or snow, this is a great time to pot up some of your favorite plants and bring the garden indoors.
To pot up plants, prune the top of the plant to let the plant know you’re not expecting new production over the next few months. Then, carefully dig a wide circle around the base of the plant and work to pull up both the plant and a lot of the soil it’s currently growing in.
Choose a pot that’s wide and deep enough to prevent root crowding on your plant and add a little extra sand and compost to the bottom of the pot before potting up your plant.
Move your pot to a south facing window and check the water level about once or twice a week, especially in the first few weeks.
Some plants worth potting up are biennials like peppers, eggplants, swiss chard, parsley, and kale.
Sound like a plan? Let’s do it!
Take a few moments this week to avoid your other to do’s and get these garden tasks done. (The garden is the perfect excuse to avoid adult-ing, don’t you think?)
ROOTED GARDEN has consulted with over 250 clients and has created more than 100 kitchen gardens inside of Houston, Texas. RG provides you with the knowledge and resources you need to grow your own beautiful & delicious kitchen garden.
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