In Zone 9, Fall can be one of the most productive seasons in the garden. The temperatures are not as extreme as the summer and in many parts of the country there is a fair amount of rain. To ensure a good season, it is important to be prepared for the fall growing season. Here are some tips to get your fall garden started.
Clean the Garden -
With the extreme heat that many parts of Zone 9 experience during the summer, many gardens will need a good clean up to get ready for the fall garden. This clean up will include -
Removing Spent Crops - Removing Weeds - Removing Fallen Fruit
During the dog days of summer many gardeners will neglect their garden. Some do it because they do not want to work in the heat, some do it because they are not a fan of the limited crops that can be grown in Zone 9 summers. Whatever the reason, a good cleanup will give your garden a great start for the fall.
Loosen Compacted Soil - this is a good practice when prepping a garden for any season and pretty much every crop. Loosening compacted soil will encourage faster root growth, allow water to get to roots easier, allow for better drainage and make nutrients easier for plants to access. A garden fork or a twist tiller work great for this. Simply dig down into the soil and move it around to loosen it up!
Amend the Soil - adding nutrients to soil will help ensure a successful fall garden. Compost, manure, worm castings, fertilizers (we prefer organic fertilizers to help keep the microbes and other life in the soil happy), and any well broken down organic matter.
Mulch - mulch can be vital to the success of a garden in Zone 9. The mulch helps keep the soil temperatures down on hot sunny days, helps retain moisture and helps prevent wees. Mulching the entire garden during the fall is always a good practice to help ensure a bountiful fall garden harvest.
Thank you to Joy Breitung for this information.