Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2017 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--My Top Seven After-Frost Garden Chores

BONNIE'S GARDEN--My Top Seven After-Frost Garden Chores

So we’ve had our first frost.  That means our yard work is done until spring, right?  Well, no.  There are still a few loose ends to be tied up.  So here are my Top Seven After-Frost Garden Chores.

1.  This is my last chance to clean debris out of my vegetable garden.  I get rid of any frost-bitten or dead foliage. If it was healthy foliage with no disease or insect problems, then I compost it.  If I had a problem of any kind, I trash it.  If I planted a cover crop, on the other hand, and it has died back with the frost, I’ll turn it under now before the ground freezes.

2.  Now is the perfect time to add a couple of handfuls of Greensand (a fabulous source of marine minerals) and a couple of inches of fresh compost to my garden bed.  No, I don’t turn it under.  I just let it sit there all winter and every time it rains, it washes those nutrients down into the soil.

3.  Check for mulch.  Do I need to add any more around plants that might need a little extra winter protection (like elephant ears or dahlias you’ve decided not to dig up but leave in ground)?  Now’s the time to do it.

4.  Clean up.  If, like me, you have a collection of used pots you’re hanging on to in case you need them, remember that terra cotta pots can crack if left out over the winter, so tuck them into a garage or tool shed.  Now is also when I take up things like tomato cages etc. and wipe them off and put them away. I also pull up all the annuals that froze and toss them into my compost pile.  And I wipe off the last of my garden tools and find space in my over-crowded tool shed, too.

5.  Disconnect garden hoses.  Water can remain trapped in hoses and spigots, causing problems later.  I learned this one the hard way…  

6.  Make notes.  While I can still remember vividly any problems I had to deal with this past summer or remember anything that did particularly well (note to myself:  Give Mouse Melons a WHOLE LOT more room to climb—and keep away from tomatoes they can climb up) I jot it down so I can remember this coming spring.

7.  I remember that I still have time to plant a few surprises for spring.  Bulbs like tulips, daffodils, etc. can still be planted to brighten up bare spots in the spring.  And I can always bring beautiful color indoors by planting amaryllis or paperwhites now for winter bloom.

Speaking of amaryllis, I have a terrific selection right now.  Come in and find a couple to brighten up your home.  They’re easy and gorgeous.
 
Posted: 11/14/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 2 comment(s)
Comments
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11/18/2017 8:51:31 AM

Lorraine Card
Re #4, Clean Up -- I don't use terra-cotta pots, but I have a collection of plastic containers (hanging pots, pots with plantings, etc.). I recycle some with new plants, but I have too many and don't know what to do with them. I understand only Lowes takes used pots for recycling, but they're not located close by. Do I just put in trash container?
11/16/2017 6:27:34 PM

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