Winterize the Garden for the season

Winterize the Garden for the season

Are you ready to get to Winterize the Garden?  It may take a lot of work or time but it will be worth it when you see that beautiful soil in the spring when you get ready to plant your new garden!

Last week I spent a few hours pulling the plants that weren’t producing any longer, I pulled my tomato plants, I had 4 different types, Potato Amish, Roma Amish, Big Boys & Cherry Tomatoes.  I pulled all of the tomato plants except for the 2 cherry tomatoes as they are still giving me some of those sweet red tomatoes.  I also pulled my broccoli, it was still producing but I just couldn’t keep up with anymore & I decided I don’t really care for the broccoli I have frozen.  Sadly I pulled up my Brussels Sprouts, they didn’t produce anything this year, I am not quite sure why, I plan on researching what the reason could have been, I was disappointed because that is one vegetable I really like, they are great roasted.  And the beans and zucchini are gone too, but still have cucumbers producing, they have been crazy this year! So now it is time to say goodbye to this year’s garden and start winterizing your vegetable garden.

I still have 2 lonely Cherry Tomato plants hanging in there, they are pretty sad looking but the tomatoes are still coming so I will let them go as long as I can harvest from them.  Fortunately for me this year up we haven’t even had a frost which is very unusual for Northern Wisconsin and it being the first week of October, so I am hoping to get everything harvested by the time we do have that fateful frost.

dscn2151dscn2152There are so many things that can go wrong with planting a garden and I surely am not a professional at growing a vegetable garden but I am happy to say that in the pass 4 years I have been able to get plenty of harvest from it and I have become much more knowledgeable about growing so many plants I had no idea about before.

Taking a just a few hours to winterize the garden and get it put to bed will be worth it in the end, I think the cleaning up the garden is more work then planting it and taking care of it throughout the growing season.

So let’s get started on the journey of saying goodnight, goodbye to this year’s garden.

  • Clean out any plants that aren’t coming back next year, make sure to get all the roots.
  • Dispose of any diseased plants, either burn them or discard at a dumping ground, but make sure they are totally removed from your garden, you don’t want any of that disease tilled into your soil.
  • Get those nasty weeds out, getting them totally cleaned out now will save you from having the burden of them in the spring.
  • Compost any of the non-diseased plants, you can even add those raked up leaves to the compost pile.
  • Test your soul, you can do this by digging a few holes and scrape some soil from the side of the hole, make sure it is weed free.  Mix those samples of soils together, a cup or two should be sufficient, put in a plastic bag and take it to a soil testing lab, lots of times your local county extension office can test your soil.  I actually bought my own soil testing kit:
  • Till your soil, this will help eliminate any pest hiding down in the soil, will make for a healthier soil in the spring.
  • Amend your soil, Add lime, it is best to test your soil first to know how much lime to add.  Lime adds much needed magnesium, calcium and neutralizes soil acidity.  If you aren’t testing your soil, 5 to 10 pounds of lime per 100 ft is a good rule of thumb.
  • Additional amending, add your compose, manure and/or mulched leaves, gently till into the soil.
  1. Another suggestion is to sow a cover crop, winter rye will improve your soil.
  2. Free Fertilizer-Shredding or mulching your leaves give you less weeds in the spring and better soil.  Leaf mold will give you some beautiful soil.
  3. Clean, sharpen and store all those tools.  Be ready in the spring for a new fresh start.

Storing your Garden Tools

Old Farmer’s Almanac

After I cleaned up my garden last year