Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Cold Weather Veggie Garden Maintenance….

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Cold Weather Veggie Garden Maintenance….

I’ve pulled up all my spent summer veggies now—the tomatoes that didn’t have one more bud left on them, the cukes that were so overgrown and so tired they stopped, the last crop of bush beans that just didn’t have any bean left.  Some of this space is already planted with fall vegetables—I have some fat little kale plants, cabbage and broccoli in right now

But these cool season veggies don’t take up as much space as my summer veggies did so I have some space leftover.  For any garden space that you’re not going to plant there are a few things you can do now to ensure that your garden is better next season.

Remove all weeds and debris.  Weeds and dead leaves, etc. are ideal hiding places for insect eggs or mold spores, so get them out of there.  I rake and remove any old mulch for the same reason.   If you compost, think carefully about what you add--any vegetable plants that you pull up that were healthy and productive, go ahead and add to your compost pile.  If they had insect problems or disease, then dispose of them.

I top dress my beds with about two to three inches of mixed composts—I use a mixture of mushroom or leaf compost and composted manure. The reason I used mixed composts is that animal-based products (blood meal, fish meal or emulsion, crab meal, cow manure) contain nitrogen but don’t have as much carbon as plant-based products.  Carbon is necessary to maintaining good soil structure. 

Plant-based or “green” manures improve soil structure so should be used in combination with animal-based amendments. I usually use a little more plant based composts than animal based composts.  A small bag or two of green sand or dehydrated kelp is good, too.  It helps to add micro-nutrients to the soil.  I don’t even till it in—I just let it sit over the winter and allow the winter precipitation to wash the nutrients down into the soil.

Over the fall and winter, I’ll periodically check to be sure that the beds stay free of debris and any weeds trying to get a finger hold are disposed of promptly.  I’ll also check on my fall veggies just to be sure that they’re staying weed and debris-free, too.  Anything I can do now is one less thing I have to do in the spring…
Posted: 11/2/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, gardening, Vegetable
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