Preparing the Fall Garden for Winter and Spring

I am not sure why plots of vegetables or flowers, are called “beds” but the moniker is an apt one for as the temperatures drop the best thing you can do for your garden is to cover it with a thick blanket.

Recurring cycles of freezing and thawing (so typical of our Maritime winters) cause exposed soil to become compacted, this can restrict root growth and limit the circulation of oxygen and nutrients vital to the health of your soil.  Applying your fall blanket or more accurately winter mulch could not be easier.

  • Clear out this year’s leftover plant material and march it off to compost pile (you have a compost pile, right?)
  • Loosen the top 3 – 4 inches (do not deep dig the bed) and mix in a generous layer of compost or leaves.  Earth worms love leaves!
  • Cap it off with 3 -4 inches of straw (available by the bale at most garden centres) and that’s it.

This cozy blanket will delay deep freezing, allowing soil organisms to continue their beneficial work.

As a bonus, if you have root crops like carrots, parsnip etc., still in the ground leave some there, just pull back the straw on Christmas morning and dig out the sweetest crop you have ever tasted.

Of course, Home Harvest Kitchen Gardens can do the prep work for you and plant garlic at the same time for this season’s special price of $69.95 + tax per bed, just contact us.

If you have comments, questions or suggestions, please send them along, we love to hear from you and share ideas.

Pete LaPierre

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