By Victoria Fuller
We are now in the full swing of fall! The leaves are turning a beautiful array of reds and oranges, the wind has a bit of a bite to it, and pumpkin spiced everything lines the shelves of every store. Some would say that once all of these occurrences align that the gardening season is truly over, well we are here today to tell you that this is not necessarily true providing you avoid some of these commonly made mistakes!
Planting the “wrong” things for where you live
We’ve all been there. You see a beautiful photo of a tropical style garden on Instagram and you think to yourself “I could totally do that!’, except you’re forgetting that you live in Minnesota and it’s October…not exactly the ideal climate for a palm (or anything tropical for that matter). Understanding the climate (or garden “zone”) that you live in is essential to have garden success. Also make sure you do your research on how long certain plants take to fully mature before you invest (for example: Pumpkins can take up to four months to grow from seed! This can be a bit of a disappointing realization if you want to start growing them in time for Halloween!).
Waiting too long to harvest
So you just spent the last 5 months cultivating and nurturing your garden and now you are worried that you have missed your harvest window! It might not be too late! Do not just assume that just because it is October it is too late to harvest, many different types of vegetables and herbs reach their full maturity in the fall such as pumpkins, beets, carrots, and tomatoes! If you do however leave it a little late to harvest your crops, you can always harvest the seeds for next season! (We actually have a blog explaining how to do this, check it out!).
Fall brings with it some interesting weather, combine that with the end of hurricane season in some parts of the world and the inevitability of climate change and we are truly looking at the definition of “unpredictable”. We recommend researching which plants you are specifically watering and ensure that you are caring for them with their specific needs in mind, gardens aren’t all “one size fits all” when it comes to the amount of water they need and you can’t rely on the skies to make the right decision for you and your garden!
Letting your weeds take over the garden and eventually take ownership of the property
Ahhh weed, friend or foe? That is the ultimate garden question. We are constantly being asked “do I really need to weed my garden or rake my leaves?” and unfortunately the answer to this is an undeniable “yes”. Weeds by definition are nutrient thieves, and if you leave them over the Fall and Winter months they will deplete your soil of the nutrients required to help your garden thrive in the Spring.
Being swayed by “too good to be true” garden center sales
Who can resist the siren song of a discounted plant? Unfortunately, oftentimes garden centers will sell off their out-of-season plants at a heavily discounted rate under the guise of it being a genuine deal, when in reality you are being set up to fail right from the get-go. Do a little research before buying any plants at this time of year to ensure that they can thrive and survive in the climate where you live!
We hope that these tips will inspire you to do a little research before you dig into fall gardening all while reminding you that the season is never truly over!