How To Prepare Your Garden Soil For Next Year

November 7, 2022

In a garden, the soil is the thread that binds everything together. But how do you prepare your garden soil for the following year? This blog will show you how to prepare your soil for a prosperous year ahead using resources like amendments, compost, and fertilizer!


Primex Garden Center-Pennsylvania-How To Prepare Your Garden Soil For Next Year-wheelbarrow of compost

Add Organic Matter to Your Soil 

Taking care of your garden soil in the fall, just before winter sets in, will result in healthier plants; this begins with adding organic amendments to your soil. Adding organic matter to soil enhances the soil’s ability to store vital nutrients and fight toxic substances. There are several types of organic matter, including compost, manure, tree leaves, and cover crops. Sprinkling some organic materials in your fall garden will help them decompose over the winter and keep your plants nourished. 


Cover Your Garden Soil 

There’s no doubt your soil is feeling the chill as it gets colder by the minute! While your garden soil has some protection during the summer from the plants in it, winter can leave bare soil exposed to the elements. Spreading wood chips or winter mulch around your fruit trees and over your soil will help keep the weeds and diseases at bay while retaining nutrients within your soil. 


Primex Garden Center-Pennsylvania-How To Prepare Your Garden Soil For Next Year-sedum groundcover

Plant Crop Cover 

Consider planting some crop cover around your plants to cover them. Cover crops enrich your soil by breaking down organic matter and offering nutrients, and they also prevent water runoff and weeds. Come by Primex Garden Center, pick up some cover crop seeds, and bury them a couple of inches into your garden soil. If you see your plant producing seed pods, cut them back so that the plant can concentrate on fixing nitrogen from the air, which is why we plant cover crops in the first place to restore the nitrogen content in the soil. If your plant is focused on producing pods, it won’t use its energy where it needs to most!


Perform a Soil Test 

What better way to validate the health of your soil before the winter than with a soil test? It will tell you whether you need to add fertilizer, acid, or lime to your seasonal garden by measuring the soil pH level and plant-available nutrients. With the ability to determine everything from the amount of organic matter in your soil to its overall fertility, you won’t regret this extra reassurance. 


Primex Garden Center-Pennsylvania-How To Prepare Your Garden Soil For Next Year-grass clippings in compost

Harvest and Rejuvenate Your Compost 

In addition to the benefits of adding organic matter to your soil, consider the quality of the compost you use for winter preparation. Like everything, compost gets old and dreary after a while, and while mixing is easy, you need to strive for the 60/40 ratio. If you leave compost neglected, it will not break down, lose nutrients, and even get moldy. You can revive it by adding a nitrogen source, such as grass clippings from your lawn. Dried leaves and worms may also help.



During the winter, it’s best to use a fertilizer with low nitrogen and high potassium in your soil, which encourages root growth. Fertilize the turf when it has stopped growing but is still green in late October or early November to ensure good winter hardiness and early spring greening.


Primex Garden Center-Pennsylvania-How To Prepare Your Garden Soil For Next Year-dandelion weed

Tolerate Cold Weather Weeds 

While it might be easier to let your weeds remain through the winter, the cold won’t stop them from dropping seeds and spreading like wildfire in the spring! Take a detailed look through your garden beds (and your lawn!) and remove anything from the soil you’re unfamiliar with; throw it out so the seeds don’t spread!


Are you interested in getting your garden winter-ready? We offer garden soil preparation near you at Primex Garden Center in Glenside, Pennsylvania.