Over the past few weeks, since the “Put Your Garden to Bed” workshop was cancelled at the end of October, Imagine Grinnell has been posting tips to Facebook to get your garden ready for winter on your own. With the weather to continuing to hold out, it may be worth your while to clean up your garden this Thanksgiving weekend before the snow hits.
The biggest help you could be to your garden and yourself is to pull out all of last season’s vegetation. Don’t leave your tomatoes, peppers or bean stalks to decompose in your garden, they will be more productive in your compost pile. By clearing out your garden you are ready for a fresh start in the spring and you decrease the number of volunteer plants that will pop up from leftover seeds.
After you have cleared the garden, you are ready to mulch. Add a combination of compost, newspapers, leaves, grass clippings or straw to your garden bed. This technique is called sheet mulching and will leave you with a fertilized bed in the spring.
Cover perennial plants like strawberries with straw. Plant garlic that will be ready to harvest by May or June.
Our garden at Marvin Street is looking wonderful, with 20+ new food-bearing trees planted that will remain dormant, collecting nutrients for growth in the spring. With covered and mulched soil, we are excited to get back to work when the soil thaws, but content that the garden will rest easy throughout the winter.