5 Fall Garden Tasks for Raised Beds
5 Fall Garden Tasks for Raised Beds
Although fall temperatures are dropping, it is still possible to grow crops in a raised garden bed and have the opportunity to harvest fresh, organic vegetables. The metal panels of galvanized steel raised garden beds absorb heat and transfer it to the filler inside the garden bed. This provides a warm growing environment for the plants, extending the growing season in autumn.
September marks the beginning of fall and dry weather. Some of your garden plants will come to life during the cool September months, and you can take advantage of the opportunity to plant and harvest a large wave of fall fruit, so you'll need to stay busy.
With the temperature starting to drop, it's time to start thinking about how to prepare and maintain your fall garden bed. Here are five essential steps you need to take.
5 Fall Garden Maintenance Tasks for Raised Beds
- Compost. The best time to compost is in the fall.
- Test soil. Test the soil pH and nutrients in your raised beds.
- Prune. Weeds, dead leaves, and dead branches should be removed in time for fall.
- Mulch. A fresh layer of mulch will help protect them from the winter frost and cold.
What else can we do in the fall garden besides wait for the plants to wither?
Composting is generally possible all year. Daily food waste and garden leaves can be composted by placing them in a compost bin or burying them in a garden bed, and the best time to compost is in the fall. There are two reasons for this. One is that some of the plants will begin to wilt in the fall and the leaves will begin to grow. By removing the fallen leaves, fruits, and stems of poorly grown plants, the potential for pests and diseases can be reduced, and the healthy dead leaves and debris can be composted as fertilizer.
The other advantage is that, combined with the fact that the number of fallen leaves in the garden is also relatively high in autumn, and since these are essential materials for composting, these remnants can be used as excellent green organic fertilizer after decay. So, in autumn, nature can provide an abundance of organic nutrients that we can fully utilize.
Protect the soil
In the fall, you can test the soil pH and nutrients in your raised beds. Follow up with some phosphorus and potassium fertilizer for some seasonal plants or cold-season crops. Additional phosphorus or organic fertilizes effectively promote plant growth while increasing disease resistance and overwintering ability.
If you don't want to plant anymore, you can test the soil to ensure that all of the essential nutrients are present. If the soil lacks nutrients, amend it with organic matter such as compost or chopped leaves. Don't worry about freezing the soil in cold weather if you place it a few inches above the top of the garden bed. This will make it much easier to start planting when spring arrives.
Weeds, dead leaves, and dead branches should be removed in time for fall. Removing dead grass and fallen leaves can reduce the host of overwintering pests and diseases, keeping the plants green and the garden tidy. Some flowers with strong growth and budding power benefit from timely cutting off the remnant flowers and stems, as well as a moderate reduction of the flowering branches, which can effectively promote flowering again the following year. Pull out crops that have withered and are no longer growing in raised garden beds to make room for fall planting. And the uprooted branches and leaves can be dried and chopped to make compost or mulch. Why not have the best of both worlds?
In the fall, it is not necessary to remove all of the existing mulch from the garden bed. A fresh layer of mulch will help protect them from the winter frost and cold. If the original mulch,such as leaves, has been consumed, mix it with the soil and add a new layer of mulch. The best winter mulches that protect against the cold are bark chips, shredded bark, and straw.
Cool-season crops such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, kale, and rutabaga can be planted in the garden bed in autumn, but it is better to use mulch to protect the plant roots.
Semi-hardy crops (withstand temperature range from 30 to 32 degrees F) Beets, lettuce, potatoes, collard, mustard, Swiss chard, green onions, radishes, and cabbage.
Cold-tolerant crops (withstand a temperature minimum of 20 degrees F). Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, kale, and rutabaga.
If temperatures fall below 20 degrees F, all of these crops will be killed off. There is still time to plant before the frost. Please see: What Productive Vegetables to Plant in the Fall for Raised Garden Beds?
The benefits of a sincere, patient approach to our gardens will undoubtedly be great all year. Maintaining your raised garden beds in the fall entails far more than these five tasks, but they are an essential checklist you must complete.
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