Time to Build

With fall and winter approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning projects for the otherwise pretty boring gardening season that is winter in our region. So what can you do in the garden during the fall and winter? Aside from organizing tools and tidying up garden beds, you can also build stuff! Now is the perfect time to tackle building projects so you can enjoy them this coming spring. Over the next few weeks we’re going to take a look a some common garden structures from pergolas to full-on hobby greenhouses.


This week I wanted to take a look at another opportunity the upcoming season present, and that is creating new garden beds. You might not be able to plant anything just yet, but now is the perfect time to start preparing the soil for new beds in both the garden and the landscape. Here are some things to consider before getting started and tilling up your yard.

First, when it comes to adding new landscape beds, you want to consider the lay of the land. Will adding a new bed affect the drainage pattern? Will it make an area of the lawn harder to mow? If you live on a corner lot, will it obstruct the view for drivers? (I see this with businesses too much!) Some careful planning now will prevent headaches later.

Second, consider your budget. Are you going to plant perennials? How many flats or pots of annuals will this new feature need? Also, consider time. Often we forget to budget time to care for new beds, and what starts off as a good idea turns into a weedy mess.

Third, break ground! Now is the time to till up new beds, work on rain gardens and drainage systems, and build and fill raised garden beds for the next growing season. The cold winter will help keep weeds at bay in newly tilled beds, and the generally dry weather of fall makes it the perfect time for project that need a bit of digging.


The final step is to make sure that your new creations are ready for their winter nap. If it is a new flower bed, for example, topping it off with a layer of mulch will make it look nice, prevent stubborn weeds, and also prevent erosion. If you’re making a new raised garden bed, creating a layered compost pile in the bed will ensure you’re greeted with some awesome soil in the spring.

Winter might be on the horizon, but that’s no reason to hang up your shovel. Now is the time to get creative. Great things are on the horizon.