As fall sets in and the garden season winds down, it’s an ideal time to plan for next year by building healthy, organic soil – right in your garden plot. Continue harvesting fruit and seeds for as long as you have it, but as plants start to shrivel and become unproductive, remove the entire plant and root system from the garden bed.
1. Clean up: Remove decaying crop litter to the compost heap, thereby eliminating choice overwintering sites for insects and diseases. Inspect the crop roots you pull up for hints of below ground problems like nematodes. Burn any foliage from diseased plants.
2. Cover: Ideally this is done with some form (or combination of) organic matter such as straw or dried leaves. The thicker the layer the better – this material will be worked on by organisms underneath the snow and can actually be turned into the soil come spring. As the weather warms and the groups starts to thaw, it will simply be a matter of turning the leftover decaying matter into the lower layers of soil. It’s a great way to build your own organic soil on site!!!
And stay tuned – Sometime near the middle/end of October we’ll get together to plant garlic!