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Top Fourteen (14) Organic Gardening and Lawn Care Tips for Fall

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Well, it is fall and time to do final touches to your lawn and garden before it gets too cold and the soil starts to freeze.

LAWN & GARDEN

After working so hard in keeping your lawn and garden healthy all year, fall is the time to give it the support it needs for the winter, and to have a successful start in the spring. These are the best things you can do:

  1. Water

Continue to water the lawn on a regular basis or as needed, to ensure the grass and garden plants receive adequate water.


2. Fertilize

Apply organic compost as it is great for your lawn and garden. It also slowly releases the nutrients your grass and garden plants need.

Well broken down compost looks like loamy soil and usually has sufficient humus content.

Compost not only provides wonderful food for plants, but it also helps to retain water. Therefore, an organic lawn and/or garden does not go dry easily, and can better withstand dry periods, hot conditions and droughts.


3. Weed

Continue to weed your lawn and garden, as it will help in having less to do in the spring, and help the grass and garden plants to grow more.


4. Compost weeds

The weeds may be added to your compost, but ensure that they are dead (i.e. dried to the point of being brown and crispy, which can be achieved by leaving in the sun on an area where it cannot regrow or have its seeds getting back into the garden or lawn). If you are still not sure, then keep weeds out of your compost pile completely.


5. Compost leaves

Rake and compost your fallen leaves.

GARDEN


6. Pull Annuals

Annuals are about finish growing now, so you may go ahead, uproot them and add them to your compost. If they are still blooming, then you may leave them until the bloom starts to disappear. Then you may pull them out and put them in your compost pile.

Do not put plants with disease in the compost pile.


I usually just bury my uprooted plants, as it saves me the time of having to monitor the compost pile, especially during winter. Additionally, the compost is going to be spread on the earth eventually, so I figure I would put them there from now.


7. Harvest your seeds

Go ahead and harvest seeds from your plants, but it is advisable to allow them to flower completely (i.e. usually up until it appears to start drying up) for planting next year.

Do not be afraid to extract seeds from your tomatoes, peppers, squash, melon, etc. Additionally, save some of your garlic, onions, peas, beans, and so on for planting.

Keep seeds in cool, dry area and away from direct sunlight.


8. Plant Perennials

Now is a good time to plant perennials because the soil is still warm enough for the roots to start growing. The roots can support new growths in the spring time.


9. Buy Perennials

Now is a great time to purchase perennials as they are discounted at this time of the year.


10. Harvest

You may harvest remaining tomatoes, peppers, etc. now or keep track of the weather so as to prevent frost from reaching them.

If you decide not to harvest as yet but there might be frost, go ahead and cover your plants.

When you have harvested food that has not ripened as yet such as green tomatoes, you can leave them on the counter away from sunlight in the house, and in a few days they usually ripen.


11. Plant garlic

Plant garlic in October in sunny spots. Make sure sufficient organic compost is added. Normally, straw is put over the newly planted garlic bulbs to help protect from frost and freezing. By July the following year, there should be nice healthy garlic and garlic scapes to be harvested.

LAWN


12. Cut

Cut the lawn regularly such as once per week to avoid it being over grown.

In Toronto, complaints can be made to the city for grass taller than 8 inches (20 cm). Please see the following Toronto City site for further information http://www.toronto.ca/311/knowledgebase/50/101000042150.html


Cut the grass when it is not wet, so you may have a nice even cut. Overgrown lawn usually does not give an even cut, so prevent overgrowth.

Keeping grass height 2 – 3 inches is good enough.


13. Repair lawn

Repair lawn by seeding areas that have been damaged, has brown or bald spots. This will help to ensure regrowth of grass in the coming spring.


14. Rake leaves

Rake leaves regularly and especially if it is going to rain. This will help to prevent the leaves from settling, so suffocating the grass, and may cause diseases.

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