Florida homeowners have it lucky. With our warm fall and mild winter seasons, our gardens tend to last longer than those of our northern neighbors. Of course, there are still some changes to make in order to ensure your Florida garden is ready for next season. Here are five tips to help you prep your garden for fall.

1. Prep Your Tools
Having organized, working tools is far more important for gardening than most people realize. Take some time in the early fall to take an inventory of your tools, make sure they work, sharpen blades, clean the tools, and lubricate the hinges. If any tools are broken or missing, now is the time to replace or fix them. 

2. Prepare Your Soil
In order to prep your soil for fall, pull any crops and weeds that may be leftover from summer. If they’re not diseased and/or seeding, you can toss them in the burn barrel or the yard waste bin. If you’re looking for a smart way to prepare your soil and keep it perfectly watered with ideal fertilizer and moisture levels, try a smart sensor in your soil. These sensors analyze data across key metrics like temperature, light intensity, moisture, and fertilizer levels and send alerts to your cell phone when the plants need to be watered or fed. The sensors will also alert you about temperature or light issues that could stunt the growth of your plants.

3. Seeding Essentials
We recommend planting seeds in early September to ensure that your plants are ready when the weather cools down. Some people track their germination rates, so they plant their seeds in pre-molded seed plug cells that allow them to count the seeds that popped up and those that did not.

4. Test pH Levels
Soil pH testing is an essential step because the pH of the soil determines the availability of nutrients to your plants. For example, there could be tons of nutrients in the soil, but if the pH levels are too high, it becomes unavailable to your plants, and a nutrient deficiency will follow. If you’re planting a vegetable garden this fall, most veggies grow best when the pH of the soil is between 5.8 and 6.3. You can do a quick pH test to find out if your levels are right.

5. Soil Solarization
One of our favorite sustainable ways to garden involves soil solarization—a process that uses the sun’s energy to kill weeds and pests that live in the soil. During soil solarization, the soil surface is covered with clear plastic to allow sunlight to heat up the upper few inches of soil to high enough temperatures to kill weed seeds, pests, and fungi. Solarization is best done in the hottest parts of the late summer. As we know here in Florida, our falls can still bring scorching temperatures, so we recommend this for the early fall months as well. 

LifeStyle Homes can build you a brand-new home on a gorgeous piece of Florida land, offering the perfect canvas for your fall garden. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.