Most gardeners are a bit worn out by the time our summer and fall vegetable season comes to an end for another year.
Getting all your vegetables out of the garden isn’t the end. Nope, there’s still more that needs to be done in your vegetable garden to prepare it properly for the coming winter months.
Performing a couple of garden related jobs NOW will make a big difference come next spring.
Our Garden Just Before We Put It All In The compost Pile
I find it’s a bit easier when I allow the vegetable plants die to die off come fall so I can pull them all at once and put them in the compost bin. Sure beats putting them out at the road for garbage pickup.
Make Use of Your Composter
When the time of year arrives to put your vegetable garden to sleep for the winter, give a minute or two of think to your garden soil by adding ammonium sulphate. Add about 1 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. to your veggie garden soil, mixing to about a foot deep.
Have a problem with dense heavy soil. You can make it better if you amend it as follows:
- Mix a 4- inch layer of compost as well as the same amount of shredded bark and dig that into the first 6 inches or so of soil. Then rake it smooth.
- Next you can cover the top 4 inches with a layer of wood chips. You don’t want to mix the wood chips into the soil. Instead allow them to stay on the top of the soil until Spring when you can dig them into the soil.
- When the ground thaws in spring add your compost or manure and plough in the amendments and what’s left of the wood chips. Your soil should be nice and loose and full of nutrients.
We have a problem with soil being washed away in the winter and early spring. So if you have a similar problem think about planting a cover crop like winter rye as it will revitalize the vegetable garden’s soil as you plough it under come spring.
Try to get your winter crop planted right about first frost, which we just had last night and you have your garden already raked smooth. Use somewhere around 3 oz of winter rye seeds per 100 sq ft.
It’s probably good to run your rake over the seeded area to bury them a bit so the birds won’t fly off with them all. When you water them be careful not to wash them back out of the soil.
Each of the points in this article take a few minutes but is well worth your time and effort when you see next years results.