9. Test Your Soil
Now is the perfect time to test your soil to find out if it can be improved by adding nutrients and/or adjusting its pH level. Testing your soil not only reveals its pH but levels of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, as well as organic matter and lead content. If the pH needs to be adjusted, lime is a great addition and it’s especially beneficial to use in the fall as it will have all winter to dissolve into the soil. Your soil’s pH level is important as it can be critical to a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. Most minerals and nutrients are optimally available to plants that are in soils that have a pH of between 6.5 and 6.8. If the soil is acidic, meaning at or below 6.0, or alkaline, with a pH above 7.0, the plants will not be able to absorb nutrients.
You can pick up an inexpensive test kit from this page on Amazon or at most home improvement and garden stores.
10. Shut Down Your Watering System
Whether you water with a garden hose or have an automatic irrigation system, now’s the time to start thinking about disassembling it to prevent damage from frost. If you live in a warmer climate, you may only have to disconnect the system from a hose spigot and let the water drain out, but if you live in a colder climate, you’ll need to use an air compressor to blast all of the water out or bring everything inside. While this may seem obvious, it’s something that’s easy to forget.