15 serious mistakes that cannot be made in the autumn in the garden
Autumn is in full swing, which means that many of us will soon stop going to the cottages. And in the garden, the work seems to be nearing completion. There is also nothing to do in the garden at the end of the season - the harvest is harvested, the weather is not happy ... However, how the garden will be prepared for winter depends on its health, its fertility, and even its longevity. And what we will do in the beds in the fall will bear fruit already at the beginning of next spring. Therefore, you need to try to carry out all the work according to the rules and end the season so that next year there will be not only less worries, but also more joy, because competent care for the land, for trees and berries makes both pleasure and profit.
Let's look at what mistakes can be made in preparing the garden for the winter, what can be missed and what not to remember.
1. Fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers
Any plant needs nutrition. However, if in the spring and early summer we introduce complex fertilizers, then in September, or rather, starting in August, nitrogen should be excluded from plant nutrition. An excess of nitrogen provokes the growth of trees and shrubs, as a result of which their wood does not have time to ripen, and, therefore, they will not cope well with the coming frosts.
Yes, and annual feeding in the autumn, neither the garden, nor the garden is useless. The main fertilizer every year is applied only under garden strawberries and currant bushes, after a season - under planting of gooseberries and every four to six years - under trees and beds.
2. Left fruit in the garden and in the beds
Often, leaving the beds for the winter, gardeners throw rotten and immature fruits on them. But in vain. Left behind rotting vegetables on the ground, as well as uncleaned plant debris, weedy vegetation, mummified fruits on tree branches - this is nothing more than a wintering place for diseases and pests.
For this reason, the beds should be cleaned and processed, and if the time has come, then with the introduction of basic fertilizers. The garden should be inspected for the presence of dried fruits remaining on the branches, removed and destroyed. But at the same time, take a closer look at whether there are pests on the bushes and trees - after leaf fall they are clearly distinguishable and easy to remove.
3. Attentionless compost heap
Today, a compost pile is no longer a rarity. Many understand its benefits and necessity. However, not everyone knows that a compost pile only works for the gardener when done according to the rules. In addition to the fact that it should be properly arranged and properly formed, it should have constant care, and yet - you can’t throw everything in it.
Do not put cabbage, plants damaged by dangerous diseases, rhizomes of malicious weeds, weed plants with ripened seeds, synthetic materials, garbage from a vacuum cleaner, fats, animal feces, meat waste in a compost pile. And for the winter, in order to preserve the decomposition process during the cold period, it is preserved with a thick layer (about 30 cm) of earth, leaf litter, peat, sawdust (the choice depends on the availability of material and the volume of the heap). For the winter period and new waste, a new pit or container is formed, depending on the design preferences.
4. Uncollected leaves under the trees
Not always gardeners and gardeners clean fallen leaves under the trees. Justifying themselves by the fact that this is an excellent fertilizer, many do not suspect that in fact they leave a “winter apartment” for garden pests. On leaf litter, the wintering stages of pathogens of fungal diseases of plants (rust, spotting, scab) and harmful insects (miners, gall-formers, herbivorous ticks, leaf-eating beetles) undergo an unfavorable period for themselves.
Yes, the foliage is actually an excellent fertilizer and free mulch, but only when it is healthy. If the plants were affected by diseases, the foliage should be removed from the garden, especially if it is a nursery or young planting, they must be destroyed or treated with a 7% urea solution, and then put in a compost heap or used for mulching.
5. Ignoring siderates
Often from the end of August you can see completely empty beds, on which the weed slowly grows. But this is wrong! If the land is empty, and there is still at least a little time ahead for plant growth, the beds should be used either for sowing crops of a short day (dill, radish, lettuce), or better for planting green manure.
Sideral crops can not only enrich the soil by decomposing the cut green mass, but also draw useful elements to its upper layers, drive away pest larvae living in the ground, improve air exchange, and displace weed vegetation. In addition, rye, vetch, oats, and rape sowed during winter will protect the aisles of the garden and beds from leaching the soil, weathering, and provide better snow retention.
6. Forgot about winter crops
After a busy season, I want to leave all the work in the spring. However, some crops can be planted in the fall. This will somewhat relieve the spring period and bring closer the timing of the first harvest in the coming year. Perhaps now such an activity seems to be not very important, but it will bring benefits in due time.
Before winter, salads, dill, beets, carrots, parsley are sown - in the spring they will sprout earlier, and some even earlier will release the beds for re-sowing. Share (for breeding purposes) perennial crops: rhubarb, sorrel. Two weeks before the frosts, onion sets and winter garlic are planted.
7. Planting seedlings out of time
There is a lot of information on the Internet about planting fruit trees, but most articles are true only for the middle band. And it is precisely because authors often do not specify for whom the material is written, beginning gardeners think that these rules are common to all. However, in fact, for those of us who live in the middle lane and to the north, tree planting is recommended in autumn from mid-September, but in the south in October. Moreover, for warm regions, an autumn planting is preferable to a spring one, since winters are warm there, long autumn - seedlings manage to take root well in the spring, but in the spring the weather often fails and it suddenly becomes hot after cold weather, which complicates the care of young trees and bushes.
There is a general rule: non-winter-hardy varieties of horticultural crops are not recommended for planting before winter - they are best planted in spring. But the pits for spring planting are prepared in the fall. This greatly saves time later and simplifies spring work.
8. Forgot about pruning!
Your secateurs have been on the shelf for a long time - in the fall, he seems to be not needed ... But no! It is in the fall that he should be ready. It often happens that on shrubs and young trees the timber does not have time to ripen, and sometimes a second wave of growth is provoked by weather conditions - this is where autumn pruning helps. To help prepare the seedlings for the winter period, it is necessary to cut (pincer) the tips of the shoots by 10-15 cm at the beginning of autumn. This will stop their growth, stimulate the bark and ripening of the wood.
And sanitary pruning in the autumn is a very useful thing. The dried branches are still clearly visible, I remember where the unproductive bushes located in the shade are located.
In addition, in October it is necessary to formulate cover grapes, gooseberries and currants. And also - take a closer look at whether there is a gummage on trees (peach, plum, cherry, apricot, cherry). If bursts are found, they must be cleaned to a living tissue, and the wounds treated with garden var.
9. Do you need whitewashing in the fall?
Autumn whitewash is a moot point! Some say that you do not need to waste time on it. Others argue that whitening trunks is necessary exclusively in the spring. But, from the standpoint of agronomy, autumn whitewashing is an important factor in the prevention of diseases and protection from pests. And yet - this is the protection of trunks from winter and spring burns. The temperature difference during bright winter and spring sun causes tension on the surface of the tree bark, as a result of which it bursts. But, if the stalks are whitewashed, the white color of the whitewash reflects the sun's rays and thereby reduces this critical moment.
Therefore, whitewashing is carried out in late autumn, when pests have already settled in the cracks of the bark for wintering. In the spring, in warmer regions - on May holidays, in the colder ones - at the beginning of summer, whitewashing carries only a decorative character, since most pathogens have already woken up, insects have intensified, and dangerous temperature changes have passed.
However, you should not whiten young seedlings - for their bark, the composition of the whitewash is still too aggressive.
Read more about autumn whitewashing in the material: Autumn whitewashing of fruit trees.
10. Autumn - the end of watering
In the autumn, it rains more and more often, and there is a temptation to forget about watering. But the growing season of some cultures has not yet come to an end, and some days are not just warm, but hot in the summer. The soil dries up and the plants lack moisture. For this reason, if something else grows on the beds, do not forget about watering, because the lack of moisture does not allow the root system to fully absorb nutrients, which means that there will be a shortage in the crop.
A very important watering awaits the garden. This watering is called “moisture-charging”. It is carried out at the end of leaf fall by rather high standards (for a tree about 10-15 buckets per square meter, for a bush - 6, if the soil is light, then it can be less), in order to increase the winter hardiness of plants, as well as to ensure the full growth of their root system in period of the remaining autumn and slow down the freezing of the soil. The exception is areas with a close occurrence of groundwater.
11. Untimely harvest
It would seem how you can harvest at the wrong time in the fall? It turns out you can! And the biggest confusion happens with root crops. Many leave beets in the beds, and carrots are in a hurry to clean. If you do this, then the beets harvested after frost lose both taste and keeping quality, and carrots harvested early - up to 40% of their weight. Therefore, beets must be removed before the first frosts, when the temperature drops to + 4 ... + 5 ° C, and carrots - after them.
Do not throw tomatoes that have not had time to ripen in the beds. There they just rot. But if you remove them, as soon as the temperature drops to +8 ° С and put them in a cool (+ 20 ... + 25 ° С) shaded place, they will catch up and be suitable for the table. If small-fruited cherry trees are not ripened in the garden, they must be torn out together with the bush and determined for ripening with their roots up in a ventilated place.
How to ripen and store tomatoes, read in our article.
12. Dig - do not dig!
Digging a garden for the winter, we fight harmful insects and weed seeds. However, deep digging is not always good in all cases, since it intervenes in the life of not only harmful, but also beneficial microflora - the rhizosphere (the soil layer in which the main part of the roots lives).
If there is no need (the earth does not have a heavy clay composition), it is enough to loosen the upper layer of beds. If digging is carried out, then the lumps of the earth are not broken to level the surface of the soil. They are left untouched. So the ground will freeze better and digging will be more useful.
Barrel circles of trees do not dig, but only loosen before the very frosts. Digging damages their roots, and restoration of the root system requires at least two weeks, if the cold comes earlier, it will be more difficult for the plant to survive the winter.
Since loosening somewhat delays the freezing of the soil, this agricultural technique is useful for young seedlings, and for trees on dwarf rootstocks, and under colonous plantings.
13. Early shelter of non-winter-hardy crops
In areas of risky farming in October, it is time to harbor frost-resistant crops. But autumn doesn’t have to fall, and if you hurry, the shelter may play in the wrong direction - the plants will spit out. Therefore, it is worth bending the shoots to the ground in a timely manner, pinning, and then, after the first frosts, shelter the grapes, and somewhere apple trees, peaches, figs, raspberries and other crops that are not typical or risky in this area. But garden strawberries of late and repairing varieties can be covered with spanbond early, this will slightly extend the last harvest.
For mulching near-stem circles of young seedlings, strawberry beds and perennials, time comes when the soil is frozen to a depth of 5-8 cm. Peat, healthy fallen foliage, spruce branches are good for such a shelter.
14. Disregarded garden tools
For inexperienced gardeners, gardening equipment is just a tool: he put everything in the barn in the autumn and you're done! But for shovels, and for choppers, and for garden shears, and for secateurs, proper care is necessary. Otherwise, they will soon turn from assistants into a problem.
In addition to the fact that the secateurs need regular competent sharpening, it is very important to periodically disinfect it, including before removing it “to rest”. Shovels, choppers, rakes must be thoroughly cleaned of adhering earth, sanitized and treated with machine oil. Garden barrels for water should not be ignored. Water must be drained from them, and hoses and buckets should be hidden in the barn. On the irrigation system, it is important to remove the valves in time, blow and disconnect the pipes.
15. Do not protect the garden from rodents
Do not think that the garden lives its life in winter and does not require our intervention. Not! During sleep, he also needs our protection, as well as during the months of active vegetation. And the danger at this time is no less unpredictable and formidable than summer diseases and pests. Hares, field mice can cause irreparable harm to the garden, and therefore you need to think about their visit in advance.
In defense against hares, you can put a fine-mesh net around the trunks, round the trunks with special plastic tubes, or tie down spruce branches with needles down. If traces are noticed in the garden (usually entrances to minks, mounds with leftovers and trodden paths) of field mice, walnut leaves, cloves of garlic, elderberry or thuja need to be scattered around young seedlings. Close the ventilation openings of the storages with a mesh with small cells.
That's all, perhaps! These are the main 15 winter preparation mistakes that should be avoided. After all, if everything is done correctly, the coming spring will become more welcoming, and spring troubles - less numerous. And in the summer you will have to sigh less!
Have a good harvest for all of us next year!