Iron Earth Canada

How to Prepare a Garden for Winter

Winter variety flowers. This blog posts shares tips on how to prepare a garden for winter.

Dwindling summer temperatures don’t have to indicate the end of an enjoyable gardening season. In fact, cooler temperatures are a great time to grow and harvest numerous plants and vegetables.  So, don’t let the fall season dissuade you, grab some organic compost and get ready to keep growing!

Should I fertilize my garden in the fall?

Fall is a great time to fertilize and nourish your garden.  After a busy summer of growing, soil may become exhausted or depleted, so taking the time to fertilize the soil with organic compost and a remineralizer such as Iron Earth is a great way to ensure an abundant fall harvest. In terms of physically preparing your garden beds, just spread a thick layer of nitrogen-rich organic compost along with a sprinkle of remineralizer and get ready for some cold weather crops.

What is the best time to fertilize in the fall?

September is the perfect time to start planting fall-friendly foliage and vegetables.  Ideally you want to look for plants that take about 30– 45 days to mature, so that you can establish them while the weather is still relatively warm and harvest them before the weather becomes too cold or the frost too severe. 

Fall Gardening Tips

There are numerous plants that can survive and, at times, thrive in cooler fall temperatures.  The following plants are some great options for a delicious fall garden:

Mild Temperature Tolerant – overnight frost/light frost, but not severe frost
  • Fall broccolis, asian broccolis, open-flowering broccolis
  • Beets
  • Cilantro (until November with mild temperatures, frost)
  • Brussels
  • Orache
  • Radishes, fall radishes (daikon, black)
  • Arugula
Moderate Frost - very cold tolerant (-5 to -8 Celsius nights)
  • Bok choy, pok choy
  • Kale – lasts a long time into the fall, great variety is dazzling blue kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Winter lettuces
  • Minutina
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Mustard
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Peas – not going to develop peas on the pod, but you will be able to grow flowers and shoots.
Cold weather plants (-15 Celsius)
  • Collard greens – hardiest of brassicas
  • Green onions

Best Fall Fertilizer

When selecting a variety of plants for your fall garden, always keep in mind the frost patterns and fall temperatures in your area. A great resource for determining what will thrive in your area during cooler temperatures is the Government of Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The map provides information on climatic conditions throughout the country, making it easier to select plant varieties that will thrive during cooler temperatures in select regions.

After determining your fall foliage and crops based on environmental conditions, a great way to nourish the soil is, again, to spread a thick blanket of compost along with a sprinkle of remineralizer.  A nutrient and mineral-rich compost will provide a fertile growing medium for an abundant fall harvest while also ensuring a healthy soil for the subsequent growing season.