If you didn’t plant a late season crop like Broccoli or Brussel sprouts or you don’t intend on getting any garlic bulbs in the ground over the next week, you may be under the false pretense that everything in the veggie garden is all set for next spring. But not so fast – there’s always a useful garden tip and one you can’t overlook if you take your veggies seriously. The most important step you can never skip is to clean up all your dead plants, dispose of them and any additional debris that leaves pathogens to emerge in the soil each spring. This can be caustic to your vegetable garden, big or small, so it should be cleaned properly so as not to spread plant diseases.There’s one last winterizing step for the veggie garden, which is to add a winter cover crop (i.e., winter rye). Why is this recommended, specifically for a sizeable vegetable garden? This extra boost helps stabilize the soil and provides a layer of green manure, adding a supplementary organic matter that gets tilled into the soil next spring. The only thing you should be aware of – don’t wait too long come spring to till it in. You want this extra layer mixed in your soil before it goes to seed.
So it’s a quick wrap up on this November morning with a Jane Shellenberger quote. “Our most important job as vegetable gardeners is to feed and sustain soil life, often called the soil food web, beginning with the microbes. If we do this, our plants will thrive, we’ll grow nutritious, healthy food, and our soil conditions will get better each year. This is what is meant by the adage, ”Feed the soil not the plants." Have a great Monday. Enjoy your week.
Top Image by Ann Bilowz – The Last of the New Dawn Rose in Bloom this weekend.
Bottom Image by Ann Bilowz © Last of the Parsley and garden clean-up
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