How Do You Prepare Your Garden For The Winter?
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How Do You Prepare Your Garden For The Winter?

This is a discussion on How Do You Prepare Your Garden For The Winter? within the Gardening forums, part of the Survival Food Procurement category; Our entire garden is now made of 100% raised beds. The old garden site is just an overgrown pile of weeds surrounded by T-Posts and ...

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Thread: How Do You Prepare Your Garden For The Winter?

  1. #1
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    How Do You Prepare Your Garden For The Winter?

    Our entire garden is now made of 100% raised beds. The old garden site is just an overgrown pile of weeds surrounded by T-Posts and Chicken wire which I plan to salvage this winter.

    Every year after the last harvest I ponder what to do to make my soil the best I can for next planting season. The Raised Beds are much easier to experiment with than a larger garden plot, thats for sure!

    Sometimes I add Wheat Straw and a basic 10-10-10 Fertilzier to the garden for the winter. Usually the wheat straw will sprout some grass and come early spring, I'll turn the soil and add compost (If I have some ready) or bagged manure. Then I'll add another layer of Slippy Soil.

    Slippy Soil is just a mix of dirt that I scrape with my tractor around my place and mix it with a truckload or two of "soil conditioner" that I buy from a local landscape/garden supply company. Costs me about $25 to fill my truck bed with the "soil conditioner" which is a light and airy mix of mulch/bark/dirt that the landscape supply store has started to compost.

    This year I plan on planting Clover and Pansies to my beds instead of a layer of straw.

    What do you do?
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  2. #2
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    After retiring two years ago I went to all raised beds. The local AGWAY guy recommended I fill the beds with 100% mushroom compost. I did and my gardens have been pretty damned good. The stuff composts down over the year. This spring I had to add an additional 3 inches to the beds. Now, the level is down Again another 3 inches or so. I’m trying to decide if I should top up again now or wait till spring. Other than that I don’t plan on doing anything at all to the beds. The AGWAY guy said I didn’t need to amend or add fertilizers as long as I added additional mushroom mulch and his advice has proven spot-on so far.

    I’m leaning towards topping up now and buying all my anticipated garden supplies now. Everything is available and cheap. With all the shit that is going on in this country today, who knows what the situation will be like come springtime. I even checked my supply of seeds. I already have everything I need, just in case.
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    I plant crimson clover and rye grass. Mow it down and till it under a few weeks before I plant. Works like a charm.
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  5. #4
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    Well, first I pull up all the remnants of the shit I killed over the summer.
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    Excuse my ignorance here. If you plant a cover crop, you must till it under in the spring.... correct? One of the big perks of raised beds is no-till required. So why plant a cover crop that requires tilling under? What am I missing here?
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  7. #6
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    Pull all the old stuff and compost.
    add organic cover crops - oats, peas, beans, & barley
    Yes, the need to be tilled into my raised beds, but they add lots of nutrients to the soil which is why I do it...

    They'll already sprouting through the ground!
    Still have kale that overwinters. Also a huge batch of carrots, celery, peppers, the the soon to be trimmed asparagus is in the ground

    Peace,
    Michael J.
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    We now have two large greenhouses. An Amish family comes and puts them up for us.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiefster23 View Post
    Excuse my ignorance here. If you plant a cover crop, you must till it under in the spring.... correct? One of the big perks of raised beds is no-till required. So why plant a cover crop that requires tilling under? What am I missing here?
    The clover will add some nutrients and the tilling is very simple. Takes me a few minutes with shovel, rake or hay fork and turning the soil a few times.

    One year I planted pansies and they looked great all winter but I don't know the nutritional value that they added to the soil. Again, it took a few seconds to turn them under.
    Last edited by Slippy; 10-13-2019 at 01:58 PM.

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    Tilling would be super easy, and quick, in my raised beds. But I’ve been reading garden articles that claim tilling disturbs the worms and organisms in the soil. I don’t know. You read 5 different articles and get 5 different opinions! I guess just do whatever works for you. I got two years of good yields from my no-till mushroom mulch method. Guess I will stick with that. But I can see where cover crops are good, too.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiefster23 View Post
    Tilling would be super easy, and quick, in my raised beds. But I’ve been reading garden articles that claim tilling disturbs the worms and organisms in the soil. I don’t know. You read 5 different articles and get 5 different opinions! I guess just do whatever works for you. I got two years of good yields from my no-till mushroom mulch method. Guess I will stick with that. But I can see where cover crops are good, too.
    You bring up a good point about worms. I've thought about introducing earthworms into my raised beds. Sometimes my compost piles have worms, sometimes I never see one but I think they'd be a great addition to the garden.

 

 
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