Greetings fellow gardeners!

Welcome to our sparkling-new blog! After a long, dry, and blistering summer, fall is finally in the air! Here is what you should be doing, right now, to prepare your garden for spring:

1. Kill stinkbugs!

We take a bucket of soapy water and brush the stinkbugs into the water. They die quickly and stink only slightly. Stinkbugs always fall straight down when they are scared, so hold the bucket directly below them, the gently brush them off into their watery doom. A square pail seems to work best, since you can lay the flat edge against the side of the house easily. I killed over 300 in less than 30 minutes using this approach.

2. Remove all the dead and dying plants

Throw them away or burn them. This will help remove diseases and insect eggs from your garden. I don’t recommend composting tomatoes, beans, eggplant, peppers, or squash, because the diseases and insects are not killed during composting, and these particular vegetables are especially prone to diseases.

3. Add compost to your garden

Till it into the soil or work it in with a shovel. More = better.

4. Get your soil tested

A soil test costs about $15 and will tell you a wealth of information about how to improve your soil. If you don’t understand your soil test results, come visit us. Both Mason and Paul can explain what the test results mean.

5. Plant things now

Fall is the best time for planting! Here are a few things that should be planted now: Garlic, trees, shrubs, spring-blooming bulbs (like daffodils and tulips) many perennials, and carrots.

6. Don’t burn your leaves

Rake your leaves and save them! Add them to your compost pile, or spread them over your garden as mulch. If you have plants that don’t like the cold, like figs, some roses, and camellias, build a cage around the plant and then pack the cage full of leaves. The leaves will act as insulation and will protect the tender plants from winter chills.

Happy gardening! May the sun be warm upon your back as you prepare for winter and spring!