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Plant people wait all year for autumn to arrive. The vegetable crop is kicking in, the leaves are getting gorgeous, and pumpkin spice is popping up in coffee shops. Wouldn’t you like to keep it going all year?
Fortunately, the end of summer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your garden. Fall is many gardeners’ favorite time to work thanks to benefits such as fewer pests and a long growing season for some plants. Keep reading to see how you can take advantage of cooler days and late-season plants for a better gardening experience as summer draws to a close.
Proper pest control
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Fighting bugs is every gardener’s eternal struggle. Insects all have their own timetables based on hatching cycles and many are back on the ground at this time. However, fall is prime season for critters like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and corn borers.
A good insect repellent is the key to saving your crop. The key is to find one that is safe for your plants and edible vegetables as well as the local ecosystem. Harsher, industrial repellents can damage your soil and water runoff. Instead, opt for an organic spray that uses neem oil to keep bugs and harmful chemicals out of your garden.
Stay ahead of fall jobs
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The end of summer checklist is shorter than other times of the year as plants slow down for a winter rest. Use the extra time to spend on all the maintenance that will make your garden better in the long run. Clean and oil your metal tools to prevent rust, prepare trees and shrubs for cold weather, and keep beds clean to prevent bugs from breeding in the mulch. While not the most enjoyable aspects of gardening, taking the time to do these tasks now will save you a headache when winter arrives.
Fall brings cooler days and milder weather, but it’s also a great time to spend quality time in your garden. Some people love tending to last year’s plants by hand with watering cans for an intimate, old-fashioned garden experience.
Get some professional advice
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Planting in the 2020s involves joining a global community of gardeners. Take advantage of all the knowledge available to learn new tips for your plants or how to plant year-round in your particular environment. We recommend you seek out vegetable grower Nikki Jabour, a cool-weather native from Nova Scotia. Her book, The Gardener all year round, detailing how he learned to grow things through Canadian winters. Her techniques and plans for gardening in even the harshest of winters may help you see what you can do to prevent your garden from looking dull and unproductive in the colder months.
Make the most of your garden this season
These three tips are just the beginning of what you can do to make fall a more enjoyable time for you and your garden. Do you have other fall gardening secrets? Share them in the comments below!