As the weather has grown cooler my flower beds are starting to look thin and raggedy, yours are too right? Maybe you still have some wild flowers and herbs hanging on but this is a great time to start to get your garden for fall. A very important part of that is preparing your flower beds for spring.
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How to Prepare Your Flower Beds For Planting Next Spring
1. Remove all diseased and dead plants
Your first step to cleaning up your flower beds is to remove all dead and diseased plants. While you’re working at removing that it’s also the perfect time to remove any broken sticks, garbage and other debris that may have blown into your garden.
Any organic waste can be added to your compost pile but remember not to add diseased plants to your compost. These should be bagged up and disposed of. Adding diseased material to your compost can spread it through your garden.
Make sure to wear a good pair of garden gloves to protect your hands while your working. I like to use gloves that are thin and flexible so that I can still feel what I’m touching but strong enough to protect my hands.
2. Remove the weeds
After cleaning out the dead plants and other debris from your garden it’s time to remove the weeds. Depending on the soil in your garden beds you can use a trowel to dig the weeds up or tool like the garden claw to loosen the soil.
Taking the time to remove the weeds now will save you a lot of work in the spring. Make sure to get as much of the root of the weeds as possible to reduce the chances of them regrowing.
3. Divide crowded perennial plants
Perennial flowers are some of my favourites because they come back year after year and require little work on my part. But in time they do become overcrowded. In the fall it’s a great time to look around your garden to see if any of your flowers need thinning.
Carefully dig around the perimeter of the plants to remove the root ball. Then use your shovel to slice it into smaller sections. Replant these into your garden and you should have many more clumps of flowers to spread around your yard or gift to friends.
4. Plant flower bulbs
Fall is the perfect time to plant flower bulbs and tubers. Look around your garden to see where you have bare spots in your plantings. These are the perfect places to start adding flower bulbs. Adding a mixture of spring bulbs and tubers that flower in the summer will give your garden some beautiful colour all through the seasons.
A mixture of spring bulbs and tubers that flower in the summer will give your garden some beautiful colour all through the seasons. Try some tulips, daffodils and crocus for the spring and some iris and lilies for summer.
We use a bulb planter like this one and I have to tell you it’s amazing! Using a stand-up bulb planter really saves your back and knees from being down on the cold ground so much. After we’ve made our planting holes we drop the bulb down into the hole and push the release lever on the bulb planter to drop the soil plug back into place.
5. Add compost and mulch
Once your flowerbeds have been cleaned and planted it’s time to feed and protect them from winter. Spread 2 to 3 inches of good quality composts over the top of your flower beds. After this has been raked out top it with a few inches of wood chip mulch.
The compost will feed your garden as it grows next year and the mulch will help to protect the plant roots over the winter. As a bonus as the mulch starts to compost you’ll be building a wonderful layer in your garden.
See that wasn’t so, hard was it? A little time spent working on your flower beds in the fall will have them in great shape in the spring. Now that your flower beds are in tip top shape check out my other tips for getting your garden and yard ready for fall.