Fall Prep for Next Year’s Garden

So here’s a question we’ve been getting a lot lately: “What can I do to my garden now so everything will grow really well next spring?” This is an especially common question for people who have had an underwhelming growing season this year – usually due to soil that is spent (meaning all of its nutrients have been used up). The fall fix is pretty straightforward – as long as we pay attention to some dos and don’ts along the way.

Do: Enrich your soil with organic matter in fall. This means things materials like leaves, compost, peat moss, and manure. A great option for manure is horse manure. You can also use cow manure, but make sure that it’s composted for at least a year.

Do not: Use fresh manure from cows, chickens, and pigs. Their manure is considered “sour” manure, and shouldn’t be used in a garden unless it’s sat and composted for about a year.

Do: Layer your organic material on thick. You can even put up to 3-4 inches over the surface of your garden area.

Do not: Finely till your manure into the soil. Have you ever seen a farmer’s field, and noticed how clumpy the manure is put on? This is actually better for keeping all the good nutrients in the soil so they’re ready to go for next spring. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mix it in a little, but it’s better to just use a shovel.


Another common mistake that people do in prepping their garden is putting fertilizer on too soon. They have good intentions of getting fertilizer in their soil, but if you put certain ones on too soon, they will be all gone by spring.

Do not: Put fertilizers that are heavy in nitrogen on in the fall. Those only last for about a month or so, and all the nitrogen for your plants to use will be gone by the next spring.

Do: Enrich your soil with nitrogen in the spring! Nitrogen is great for getting healthy plants. Additions to the soil like bone meal and milorganite in spring are also fantastic for beautiful plants and flowers in gardens and containers.



There are plenty of other tricks and tips for growing beautiful plants in spring, but we hope the few in this post inspire you to get a jumpstart on a beautiful garden for next year!

If you have any other questions about common dos and don’ts, be sure to contact us, either by phone, Facebook messenger, or by email!