Prepping my garden for the winter season comes with mixed emotions. I’m always grateful for the generous crop my garden gave me, but a tad bit reluctant to see the gardening season end. Time to put the garden to bed, if you will, and close that gate until spring. Thing is, there is one last task to do for your garden to prepare for the winter season, keep it nourished during the cold months and prepare now for a hearty growth come spring.
First things first, make sure the garden is weeded. An annoying task to say the least, but necessary. Stream a podcast and have that on in the background while you weed. Shouldn’t be too many this time of year as some of the cold snaps should have taken care of most of the weeds for you. Regardless, get rid of them.
Next step is to nourish, and there’s nothing like some good old gourmet dirt. I’m talking about compost, and I wrote all about it here. Food scraps, leaves, cut grass, all make for good compost. Or, if you have chickens, their waste is like gold to the garden. The chicken thing is the route I went for this season.
I cleaned out the coop; all of the hay and chicken waste (it was a very smelly job), and distributed the hay and waste among the raised beds in our garden. The waste will drain into the soil to nourish each garden bed, and the hay will provide insulation throughout the winter.
If you’re nourishing with compost, spread a layer of compost over your garden, and cover with a thick blanket of leaves from your yard. No need to buy hay, the leaves work just as well, and they will decompose and will also add nutrients to your garden.
Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait out the winter. And, while we’re at it, we can start planning for next year’s garden. Because really among us gardeners, putting our garden to bed certainly gives us time to plan for next year. March will be here before we know it, when we can start sowing our seeds.