3 Fall Ideas to Improve Your Garden Soil Next Spring
If you want to improve your soil’s condition for next summer’s garden season, fall is a great time to start. Here are three great ways to get started improving your soil for next summer.
1. Pile leaves on your garden, then dig them in lightly with a shovel, and water everything down well. The leaves will mold and rot over winter into a great soil enrichment by spring planting time.
2. Plant a cover crop. Fall is a great time to get a cover crop started before snow sets in for the winter. It may not grow too much this fall, but it will be set and really take off in the spring when the weather starts to warm up.
Some great cover crops to plant in the fall include, winter barley, clover, buckwheat, oats, hairy vetch, and field peas. If you can’t get them in the ground now, don’t worry, you can still get an early start in the spring.
Next spring mow your cover crop a couple times before turning it into the soil and continuing with your spring garden planting.
Besides improving your soil a winter cover crop helps prevent erosion, feeds important soil organisms through the winter, and helps suppress weeds. most importantly a cover crop can add valuable nitrogen to your soil that will help your summer garden grow.
3. Layer on the compost. Do you have a pile of compost you’ve been cooking all summer? Now is a great time to add it to your garden. The winter freezes and thaws will help work the compost into the soil. If you empty it out now your compost bin will be ready to fill back up through the winter for another batch of golden compost in the Spring.