Fall is here in the northern hemisphere and I bet you’re getting ready to put your garden to sleep for the winter. Perhaps you have a fall crop planted but did you know there are a bunch of things you can do now to boost your wild homestead come spring?
All 3 of these methods work on the same basic principles—they provide a cover on the soil to slow down evaporation and prevent erosion, they add organic material to the soil, and they provide shelter and food for beneficial soil life such as fungi
Chop-and-drop is the easiest to implement since it just involves returning any pruned plant material back to the soil. As you are pruning just chop it into small pieces and drop it onto the soil. It really is as simple as that.
This free mulch will return fertility to your soil and help ensure your soil stays moist and fertile come spring and summer.
But sometimes adding extra mulch is needed. In this case bringing in mulch from outside areas (either from other spots on your own wild homestead or from your neighbors) can be a great way to boost your wild homestead.
Fall is a great time for this because people are often getting rid of the leaves that fall on their property. I always make sure to get a couple hundred bags of fall leaves from my neighbors each year.
The 3rd action you can take is to add logs and large branches to the surface of your growing areas. These can shelter your plants from sun and wind and they create moist pockets underneath them. These sheltered and moist areas provide great habitat for beneficial soil life.
But the logs and branches also slowly breakdown and release nutrients back into the soil through the actions of fungi. This is especially true if the log and branches are partially buried each year from you adding fresh mulch (actions 1 and 2—see how this all relates?) around the log/branches.
These are just 3 of the 12 actions you can take this fall that are covered in the blog post. Make sure to check out the post to learn more!
What Actions Do You Take in the Fall?
So what do you think? Are you taking these actions on your wild homestead? Are you taking other actions not covered in this post?
Please leave a comment with your answer. I would love to hear from you!
For me, fall means getting back to work on my dead hedge, as well as your excellent soil-building techniques. If I get some tree branch posts hammered in before the ground freezes, I can work on the dead hedge in those long winter months where not much can be done outside.
In my Mediterranean climate I managed to get some summer plants like chillies to start growing mid-autumn in pots in a sunny spot as it was still hot some days, and some survived the winter for a head start in Spring.
I don’t have space for a greenhouse to start growing in winter, but starting them in autumn outside has worked for some plants. Next autumn I’ll try it on a larger scale so that hopefully I can get lots of strong summer plants ready for transplant early Spring. If they’re not as big as my hand when planted the slugs and harsh sun will kill them within days of transplanting.
A person can really observe in the fall as well. The leaves are off the trees, the ground is not saturated like it is in the Spring, and so a person gets a really good idea of what the lay of the land is before snow arrives and messes it all up.
And of course fall is the time to apply lime to help increase the PH of the soil so that it is ready to go in the Spring (it takes several months for lime to start working)
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me: