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Seasoned gardener urges fellow growers to follow one simple method ASAP: 'Turned my backyard from basically a dump into a flourishing garden'

"I've been doing this for three years now."

“I’ve been doing this for three years now."

Photo Credit: @torylynnnn / TikTok

Spring isn't the only important time of year for your garden. How you take care of it in the fall can have a huge impact on the health of your plants next year — and one gardener on TikTok is here to show you the ropes.

How it works

TikToker Tory (@torylynnnn) says it took her a few years to reach this point in her gardening career. 

"I've been doing this for three years now," she says in her recent video. "Turned my backyard from basically a dump into a flourishing garden."

Now, with the benefit of experience, she has a fall routine she wants to share "to keep your soil happy and healthy and ready for next growing season."

"Number one," she says, gesturing to a few dead plants that need to be cleared from her garden beds, "leave the roots in the soil. Chop plants off at the base; don't rip them out of the soil." 

This allows the roots to break down naturally and return their nutrients to the garden for new plants to use next year, as other gardeners have also pointed out.

Her second tip is to add natural fertilizer to the soil now instead of waiting for spring. "Save your food scraps, get compost, pull things like kale that got hit in the frost and you're not going to eat. Mix it into your soil with a pitchfork, not with a shovel," she says. 

Adding these materials now gives them time to break down, depositing all their nutrients into the soil before spring.

"And number three," she says, sprinkling a handful of dry autumn leaves, "this is gold." According to Tory, you shouldn't compost your leaves or throw them away but use them as mulch to ensure your garden beds stay covered all winter. "Soil is never left exposed in the natural world, and it shouldn't be in your garden."

How it's helping

Soil isn't just a bunch of dirt. As Good in Every Grain explained, it's a complex mixture of nutrients, living microbes, and organic material, full of beneficial critters like worms — all of which work together to support healthy plants.

By replenishing the nutrients in the soil, protecting its structure, and insulating it from the cold, you help improve its quality, which benefits the plants that will grow in it next year. 

"If you do these three things right now, you will have better and juicier and bigger produce next summer in your garden," Tory says.

Not only does that mean you'll get to snack on tasty veggies and enjoy their health benefits, but you'll also buy less produce at the store, saving money and reducing your impact on the environment.

What everyone's saying

Commenters were excited to try Tory's tips at home. "I will implement all of this the second I have a garden," said one user.

"I appreciate the commitment," Tory replied.

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