Prepping Your Garden for the Winter

by: Edgar Romero Gonzalez, City Sprouts South Manager & Assistant Educator


Hi y’all!


It’s been a while, but I’m back again with some great info to share. Winter is just around the

corner! It's worthwhile to prepare your garden for its season of rest and relaxation. Think of it as a nice long vacation for your garden space. Trust me, in the spring, your garden will thank you for it! Here are some great tips to help you prepare your garden for the winter:

  • Clean up time! That’s right folks, it helps to clean up your garden at the end of the growing season. Definitely remove any plant material that may have had a disease, possibly some fungus, or pests. The same goes for any invasive weeds that may have gotten a bit out of hand. This stuff goes into the trash, not your compost bin! You may leave all other plant material on the ground. It will slowly decay, add nutrients back into your soil, and provide a bit of protection for your soil during the cold bitter months.

  • Boost and fortify your soil! True, you could wait until the spring to do this but you’ll miss on a key benefit. Adding compost, manure , or organic fertilizers (ex. bone meal, kelp, etc) into your soil now will allow for these nutrients to slowly break down into their biologically active state during the winter. Come spring you’ll have super soil ready to go!

  • If you were growing any herbs this year, they too could use a little winter prep! There are specific methods of preparing certain types of herbs for the winter. Unfortunately, there are way too many to list here so my best suggestion is to do a quick internet search for the best method used for the specific herb you’re working with.

  • Protect and cover your growing space! Whether you’re growing in raised beds or in-ground beds, it's highly recommended that you protect and cover them for the winter. You can use straw, a tarp, or a combination of cardboard and mulch. However, here is one suggestion that I’ve discovered to be super awesome for whatever type of growing space you’re working with; drum roll please! Use a cover crop. These can be crops such as rye, clover, vetch, or a mix. There are products out there that provide an awesome mix of cover crops for various purposes, so check with your local garden store for more details. So why use a cover crop, you ask? Well for starters these crops help prevent soil erosion during those windy and dry winter days. They also break up compacted areas in your soil. They’re also known to naturally increase the amount of organic matter and nutrients in your soil. Oh, and guess what!? They also help your soil naturally absorb carbon from the atmosphere.


Taking the time to do these simple tasks now will greatly help your soil rest and fortify itself so it can be ready for the spring. Trust me, you’ll see the difference in your garden!

 


Questions about winterizing your garden?

Email edgar@omahasprouts.org.


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