What to do to my garden for fall and winter?

carrieann0413September 24, 2010

My vegetable garden is coming to an end. I am still waiting on some carrots but otherwise everything else is done producing. This was my first garden and now I have no idea what to do to prepare the garden for fall and winter. I have read of planting rye grass but not sure if that is a good idea or not or even a good idea for where I live. I plan to pull out all the plants and put that in my compost pile. I do not have any compost ready and my store bought stuff is gone. Not sure I can still buy any. Does it matter if I add compost in the fall or if I wait until spring? Do I need to plant anything in the garden for winter or can I just till it and leave it alone? Thanks for any help.

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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Is this a conventional in-ground garden?

EG

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 12:23AM
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carrieann0413

It is a raised bed square foot garden

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 3:26PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

CarrieAnn - The only thing you wanna do in the fall is send a soil sample to your local extension office. Where I live, we have to add lime every fall, because of the frequency of rainfall. However, your location probably doesn't require that, unless the soil test indicates a low ph. No cover crop needed - especially in such a small area. Compost should be added in the spring, at planting time.....

EG

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:39PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

You could also add a nice thick layer of fall leaves over the garden - shredded is best. Water them as you place them so that they stay in place. I would then till the leaves in once the spring comes. Leaves improve soil tilth, although depending on the leaves, it might drop the pH.

Another option: Put shredded leaves over your garden space. (Be sure to wet them down as you lay them to hold them in place.) Then, when the spring comes, rake the leaves back off the soil (and reserve) let the soil warm up from the spring sun, and plant. Replace the leaves as a mulch over your garden. Then you can either till the leaves into the soil come the following fall or put the year old leaves into the compost with the plant remains from that year, and put new leaves down in your garden to repeat the cycle.

Personally, I would incorporate the leaves into the soil in the fall - worms LOVE leaves! (And I love worms, so I do whatever I can to make them happy.)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 5:38PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

Because my garden was filled "lasagna-style", I need to top off the beds in the fall to replace what was broken down over the summer. I empty the compost bin (finished or not), toss in some leaves & coffee grounds etc and top off with straw to put them to "bed" for the season. This year, I'll be sure to water the beds well- last winter was dry and things didn't break down as well as they did the year before.

eaglesgarden - worms also seem to be very happy with split-open pumpkins in the fall. Just make sure you remove the seeds first - they'll sprout & come bursting out in massive clumps in the spring. From Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:50AM
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foolishpleasure

All summer long I racked my grass clipping and put it in plastic bags and bagged the tree leaves I gathered from the yard. I have about 50 of these bags. I am planning to spread the grass clipping, the leaves and the old plants in the entire garden (60X60)then use the Tiller to mix it. Since I don't have a compost hole I hope this will work as a compost. If I am doing any thing wrong please speak out I will listen.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 2:34PM
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mackga(7)

Fill your Raised Beds with as many leafs as you can and then put on a cover crop of rye grass. Feed your soil!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out the Barry Gardens

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 8:13PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

I vote nothing. Just add some compost when you replant. That's the SFG way and has worked for me.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 2:54PM
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