The tomato plants are no longer pumping out beautiful, red tomatoes. The berries are done. The squash was delivered a long time ago. Your backyard garden just doesn’t look the same in late October and early November as it did. Does that mean your work is done? Absolutely not! The work you do now to prepare the soil for the winter and next spring will make a huge difference in your garden’s success.
Here are a few tips to help your garden in the colder months:
- Look for any fallen fruit or fruit that has rotted. They could have disease that could last all winter long. Remove the rotten… don’t mulch it either!
- Mulch the clippings, twigs, grass and other organic matter over the winter. If you have a mulch pile going this is a welcome addition to the compost. All of the organic matter will add to the benefits of the soil in the winter. Don’t forget to through some biochar in the pile! It will help keep the microorganisms and beneficial nutrients in your compost.
- If you have a larger garden you may want to plant cover crops to help correct soil compaction.
- Map out a new garden plan for next spring. Moving your plants around will confuse pathogens and reduce the risk of disease in your garden soil.
- Make sure you’ve removed any leaf cover that may have fallen from nearby trees. They can provide hiding places for pest, diseases and mildew. A mulch pile is a good idea for them.
Basic stuff really, remove the remaining plant life and compost the good stuff and dispose of the bad. Don’t leave anything covering the soil that could provide cover for pests and mold and mildew. This simple process will help your spring garden start off great!