Gardeners will tell you that warm, happy fall days draw them out into the garden every time. There is much to do in the garden during the fall. It’s a time to plant new shrubs and gardens for next year, prepare gardens for colder temperatures, and set up shrubs to ward off unwanted “winter” predators. Here are five organic gardening projects for your garden:
(1) Happy Fall Days = Planting New Shrubs & Perennials
Fall is planting season. It’s so much fun to buy and plant new colorful perennials, shrubs, and trees for next year’s garden experience. SHG Living’s Hey Ashley Renne, Ashley encourages and guides her audience to build an “eco-garden“. Ashley thinks of pollinator-friendly plants which bring in bees and hummingbirds. Ashley is onto something here, as even farmers across Europe are casting out wildflowers or native plants across their fields to restore eco-systems which their chemical treatments destroyed over many years.
(2) Leaf Removal the Organic Way
Throughout New England and Midwestern states, you have beautiful foliage. Golden and many shades of red dress up the landscape. However, after just a few days of such beautiful happy fall days, leaves drop and pick up work begins. Some people advocate simply leaving the leaves as organic material. Yes, leaves are organic material. However, decomposing of whole leaves takes a long time, and is not the best for your lawn. So what are your options?
- Most of today’s municipal transfer stations compost leaves. This means even trucked away leaves will likely be handled in an organic manner.
- Less known is that commercial lawn mowers have an attachment with which gardeners can shred leaves on site. The resulting “mulch”- like material can then be spread around your bushes and plants to pack out shrubs and plants for protection against cold temperatures. The material will break down further into plant nourishment in the form of new topsoil. It’s an organic gardening win, win.
- SHG Living’s host Cali Kim offers several shows on building compost bins and ways to create and use green and brown material as effective compost from garden debris. Composting kitchen scraps, green material from lawn cuts and brown material from fallen leaves are the way to complete organic property management.
(3) Happy Fall Fertilizing Shrubs Organically
Happy fall days are days spent outside in your garden. Pick a day when temperatures are still mild and spread organic fertilizer like Hollytone, for example, around your acid-loving shrubs one more time. Given supply chain issues, generally common Hollytone is difficult to find. Folks who have been building their own compost are at a big advantage gien today’s supply chain issues.
Organic fertilizers help your shrubs in building strong root systems. Your plants will thank you with more beautiful flowers and resistance to drought from stronger roots the following year. so it’s worth the effort to create and/or find organic fertilizers.
(4) Effective Winter Deer Protection
For many gardeners, happy fall gardening includes various anti-deer treatments to save your azaleas, rhododendrons, and other plants from being nibbled to stalks during the winter months. There are many sprayed-on deer repellant products on the market. They do not smell good to deer, nor rabbits, nor human noses.
One environmentally friendly tip: Buy concentrate instead of diluted products. You want to pay for repellant, not the water which you can mix in easily yourself. Depending on how cold and long the winter will determine how many times you will need to re-apply the deer repellant. It is never fun to be out in really cold weather to reapply the mixture but it is the only way to fully protect your shrubs and plants with sprayed on repellants.
There is general consensus that ultimately deer protection is a barrier method, a.k.a. a deer fence. If you are among those who feel deer fencing is necessary but ugly, check out SHG Living’s show SabinesNew House on ways to conceal ugly deer fencing through the way the fencing is built. Watch “Invisible Fencing” for ideas on how to go about building a practically invisible deer fence.
Leaving the best for last: There is one relatively new product out of Germany to keep deer out of your garden:
When reflective blue strips were installed around roadways in Germany accidents with deer dropped by 98%. In other words, deer stay away from blue light. As a result, there are now German companies that offer battery-powered blue lights. These lights blink or strobe in different light patterns which alarms and deters deer. It works! Install these blue blinking lights strategically around your garden to keep deer away. For gardeners, this barrier-free device is perhaps the best, happy fall news-ever!
(5) Pumpkin Composting
SHG Living’s Ashley Renne and a friend started a campaign to have people in their Atlanta area take their pumpkin to be composted instead of tossing them into trash. We salute this effort and invite our readers to do the same once again this year. Perhaps this is your start in year-around their composting. It is sure to lower the amount of garbage from your household.
Try the above-mentioned effective and organic gardening methods to get your garden ready for the winter. Happy fall gardening is knowing that your garden is beautiful, with newly planted material, as well as fed and protected shrubs, trees and plants through the coming winter months. Enjoy!