Putting the Garden to Bed

Putting the Garden to Bed

The summer has long-since been over. The frantic rush to help customers make decisions about their garden has been replaced by early Christmas decorations being set up, and the proverbial creep of holiday music overtaking our local radio stations. However, before we get too excited about celebrating the winter, there are still some things that need to be finished up for the fall. Though the growing season is over for many of your outdoor gardeners, there is still some important prep work to do in order to get their garden beds ready for the winter ahead, and they’ll need the right supplies to get the job done.  

Fall is a great time to promote using compost or another fertility input to return nutrients to the soil, and to build healthy soil over the winter. As compost breaks down over the winter season, it allows nutrients to release slowly and can keep the microbial population healthy for the spring. Our Purple Cow Organics Activated Compost can reestablish fertility in tired soil, but it also rebuilds organic matter, helping to improve overall soil health. By doing some of the work to build back soil health, your customers will save time in the spring by not having to add more fertility inputs.

Gardens don’t actually take a break in the wintertime. Even though the temperature dives well below freezing for several months, microbes are still hard at work breaking down organic material and preparing the soil for the coming Spring. As the season goes on, much of the biology in the soil dies off due to a lack of nutrition. Feeding these microbes with Activated Compost in the fall allows the nutrition to soak in, and provides energy to your customer’s soil throughout the season.

Microbial health leads to another important factor in soil health, which is water retention. As the microbes in soil break down organic material, they loosen the dirt and aerate the different layers of topsoil. By making the soil loose and fluffy, microbes allow natural water inputs (such as rain and snowmelt) to be absorbed by the soil, rather than sitting on top of the dirt or flooding wetlands. In areas where drought is an issue, healthy soil with a large water holding capacity can reduce the amount of water needed to grow healthy crops. This also leads to less runoff of topsoil and fertilizers into rivers and streams, which can help to build a healthier planet. Another benefit to composting in the fall is that organic composts and soil amendments need time to fully release their nutrients into the soil. When gardeners compost in the spring, they provide nutrients that will slowly release over the spring and summer. However, they miss out on the nutrients that could give their plants a head start in the Spring. Putting down compost in the Fall helps to prepare the soil for spring by slowly releasing nutrients during winter, which will be available to plants when the growing season starts.

An Autumn application of compost makes it easier for your customers to grow in the Spring for more reasons than just having extra nutrition in the soil. A thick layer of compost over the wintertime can also help soil stay warmer throughout the season, and allows for a faster thaw in the spring. This means an earlier planting period, and a longer growing season. Additionally, composting in the Fall forms a protective barrier between soil and weeds, meaning less maintenance for planting in the spring.

There are still important fall gardening tasks that need to be finished before we can dive into winter festivities, but there are ways to make the work easy, and to continue to build your relationship with your customers.

For more information on the Purple Cow Organics’ product line or where to buy, feel free to send us a message through the Contact tab at the top of the page.