Winterizing Your Garden
Now’s the perfect time to start your vegetable garden for next! There are many things you can do now that will save you time next spring and result in a more fruitful garden.
The most important issue is sanitation. Start by removing dead plants, decomposing fruits and weeds. If you have a compost pile, put everything there. Diseased and insect damaged plants may have eggs on them and perennial weeds might have seeds that could get into the compost. When in question, throw it away!
The fall is also a great time to add organic material to your garden and raised beds. If you keep a compost pile, this works great. If not, use manure or chopped leaves. You can do a soil test to see what nutrients, if any, are needed. Check the PH, if may be necessary to add lime. Adding a chemical fertilizer in the fall is a waste of time and money, it will not remain in the soil over winter. A great alternative is to plant cover crops, such as clovers, vetch, legumes or winter rye. These will be rolled under next spring, adding the necessary nitrogen and organic matter that will enrich and freshen the soil. Doing this now will save time next spring when the soil is drying out before you can get started.
Planning this fall will result in a more plentiful harvest next year!