Time to close your vegetable garden!
What a warm fall! Your fall planted leafy greens enjoy the summer-like conditions. We usually close up the gardens in the last two weeks of October, however, this year we will be delaying the closing due to the weather. If have an Urban Seedling garden we will be in touch 3 days before our visit. Let us know if you would prefer that we come to close up your garden right away, or if you would like to push your garden closing as late as possible.
If you are looking to start closing you garden in the next couple weeks. Here is how we do it at Urban Seedling.
- Remove all dead plants and clear out the garden. It is important to clear out debris from around your garden as well. This helps to break the life cycle of pests and disease – prevention is the best medicine! Disturbing the surface of the soil helps too.
- Plant your garlic. While it is possible to spring-plant some varieties of garlic, fall-planted garlic is much better. It is such a joy to see the garlic come up first thing in the spring.
- Do an application of fish emulsion. This is a fantastic way to add nutrients back into the garden. Fish emulsion is great for the keeping the mycorrhizal fungi in your garden happy.
- Top up your garden with fresh soil and compost. If you have access to dead leaves, chop them up with the lawn mower as finely as possible and add them on top of the garden, to be turned-in in the spring.
- Cover the raised bed garden with a clear plastic sheet and staple it to the wood frame. This protects your garden soil and nutrients from the harsh winter conditions, keeps weed seeds out and heats the garden soil a good two weeks earlier in the spring!
Before you close up your vegetable garden, you can use floating row cover to protect your vegetables against light frosts. Make sure to harvest all the tomatoes before frost hits! The green ones can be make into a delicious green tomato ketchup.
If some of you are interested in learning some techniques to extend the gardening season take a look at Eliot Coleman’s website. He is one of my favorite writer and great resource for learning about what we call winter gardening.