Less Noise, More Green: Preparing the beds for winter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Preparing the beds for winter

The cold snap we're having has encouraged the lettuce, spinach and beets.

 This is the weather we were treated to this morning:


 Freezing sleet, oh joy! As we knew this was coming, it prompted a lot of activity this weekend to prepare the garden for winter.

I had been putting off deciding how I would amend the vegetable beds. My friend who gives me horse manure isn’t able to do this until the spring, this year. I usually amend the beds in the fall when I add the manure, compost and lime all at once. The decision was to add the other amendments now, or wait and do it all in the spring. In the end, I decided to wait. Turning the amendments into the soil is quite disruptive to the soil structure and doing this twice just wasn’t sitting well with me. 

To prepare the beds for winter, I removed the straw I had used as mulch on the squash and tomato beds. I did this because these crops had suffered from disease. I left the straw on the potato and green bean beds. To the other beds I added a thick layer of leaves and to the beds with fall crops growing in them I added more straw. I have lettuces, beet seedlings and garlic popping through the soil so I covered this bed with a fabric row cover to add another layer of protection.

Garlic poking through the soil.

I pulled the last dead plants from the container garden, removed the mulch and stacked the containers in a sheltered location. 

These containers are now stored for the winter.

Come March and I can work the soil, I’ll be ready to work in some magic ingredients! For now, my beds are safely tucked in for the winter. Good night, sweet soil.


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