Fall Gardening Tips: Mulching, Composting and DIY Gift Ideas

Pumpkin vines wind around stalks of sunflowers as the season of golden leaves and cool breezes comes to call. Fall, the time of harvest when gardeners are reaping their rewards, brings its own demands for gardens. By restructuring your gardening efforts this fall, however, you can give your spring garden a boost.

Mulch-a, Mulch-a, Mulch-a!
At the top of your fall garden prep list must be mulching. Mulch provides a layer of protection during the winter months, helping your top soil to stay put and at a steady temperature during wet or windy weather. But that’s not all it does. Mulch, if used correctly, can boost the nutrients found in your garden, a welcoming treat for your spring seedlings. Not sure what kind of mulch to use?

  • Bark, a commonly used mulch, is a natural bug repellent and it's affordable
  • Hardwood mulch decomposes more slowly than bark and is considered more visually pleasing
  • Shredded leaves can be the most cost effective if using your own stockpile; shred these finely to avoid layers that can become winter homes for rodents
  • Straw is easy to find, but note your source to avoid transplanting grains into your garden; can also house rodents and is highly flammable

Beyond the Plot
The fall is a perfect time to reassess your future garden needs. For instance, do you want to use compost on your garden next year? Start a compost bin, such as this composting worm bin, during this season so to have a stock of fresh, organic compost by the summer.

Another thing to do with your garden in the fall is to remove all dead things from your garden. However, you should not toss out your dried corn on cobs, dead sunflower stalks, and spent flower bunches. Save these to be repurposed for your fall themed décor, just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can also begin drying herbs and flowers to be used for holiday gifts. For example, satchels of dried peppermint leaves make for amazing tea, while dried catnip serves as an ideal gift for cat owners.

Gardening during the fall is a rewarding time thanks to the cooler weather, shorter days and abundance of goodies harvested at this time. What are your top fall tips for gardening? Please share below!


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