Press-Republican

Columns

September 2, 2013

Time for garden adjustments

We can’t deny that fall is in the air.

On my way to work this morning, I heard on the radio that there are 122 days until the end of the year. It made me shudder. I don’t want to believe that summer is almost over. 

That said, we need to admit that fall is in the air, and it won’t be long until our gardening season comes to an end. You’ve probably heard me say this before, but it bears repeating. This is a good time to make notes about what worked and what didn’t in your garden.

Whether you grew vegetables, flowers, herbs or a combination of things, taking the time to evaluate your garden and make notes will pay off in the spring. If you want to repeat your successes and avoid your disappointments, remembering details seven or eight months later isn’t always easy. Having a written record comes in handy.

Another thing that pays off in the spring is “putting your garden to bed” in a way that gives it the ability to “wake up” raring to go.

If you have not had a pH test done on your soil for several years, or if you made adjustments last year, you may want to consider having one done. The pH of the soil determines how accessible the nutrients in the soil are to the plants. If your pH needs to be altered so that it is in a range that is most beneficial to growing plants, fall is the time to make those alterations. Lime or sulfur added to soil break down slowly. Adding them, if necessary, in the fall allows time for them to “work their magic” so that come spring you should have some change in pH. We do pH tests in our Plattsburgh office for a fee of $2 to cover the testing materials. Call for instructions on how to take a soil sample for testing. 

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