How To Prepare Your Vegetable Garden For Winter

How To Prepare Your Vegetable Garden For Winter

If you’re new to gardening, you might not be aware of how to prepare your vegetable garden for winter. The chores during the winter are as vital as they are at other times of the year. Some gardeners will just leave the ground and wait for spring to do the job. Is that right? Of course NO! The best time to prepare the garden is now for the upcoming season.

Here is what is required to get started.

- Clean the garden
Harvest warm-season crops like tomatoes even if they are still green. Get rid of other untidy and old plants that can cause pests, disease, and funguses. You can bury old plants in the garden to improve soil structure, organic content and the overall health.

- Get rid of invasive weeds
Do you know the bindweed or Himalayan blackberry? They’re dangerous in the garden. This is undoubtedly the right time to deal with such renegades. You should dig then up and either bury or burn them on autumn’s burn piles. Some invasive weeds stay viable in weed pile or compost heap; therefore, be sure to dispose them off your garden. This will help to prevent them from sprouting again in the next year’s crop.

- Prepare the soil for spring
Basically, fall is an awesome period to dig in soil amendments such as compost, kelp, manure, bone meal, and rock phosphate. In many climates, this is the right time to enrich your soil with nutrients. Turning, amending, or digging soil implies that you’ll have little work to do when the busy season hits. Once the amendment is done, cover the bed with sheet plastic or anything else to protect amendments from being washed away by winter rains.

- Plant Cover crops
In most climates, early fall or late summer is the best time to sow the cover crops. Cover crops help to prevent soil erosion and increase organic matter in the garden beds. Some samples of cover crops include vetch, rye, or clover. Planting legumes like peas and clover help enhance the level of nitrogen for garden vegetables. A general guide is to plant cover crops about one month before killing frost.

- Prune perennials
Pruning is essential in the vegetable garden. Fall is basically the best time to trim some perennial plants. Be sure to select the right ones. Pruning helps to protect the plant from stress and diseases.

- Divide and plant bulbs
Be sure to divide those plants that are straggly or crowded during the growing season. It might be challenging to do for the spring bulbs. In other plants, you can dig 4-8 inch from the stalk, loosening the soil carefully. Gently, lift the bulb and separate the bulblets for transplanting.

- Composting
Compost all the dead plant debris, including the leaves. Leaves are preferred because they are the best soil amendments and terrific mulches. It is also easy to recycle the leaves, and they take a short time to decompose.

- Water gardening
You can bring in the drain, refill, pumps, and store water before winter.

- Clean and sharpen the tools
Any gardener understands the importance of keeping their tools clean and oiled. The fall is, therefore, an excellent time to ensure that all your tools are clean and sharpened to enhance their lifespan.

Preparation for vegetable gardening for winter requires much care and planning. Be sure to use the right approach throughout the year. 

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